The cause of death was an apparent heart attack, according to his partner, Jefe Kraybill.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Kraybill told the Bay Area Reporter in a brief phone call Wednesday. “I share in the grief of everyone and I know he’ll be missed.”
Kraybill said the couple had moved to Portland after living for a time in Santa Fe to help care for his mother. Mr. Huser had recently started a job with a software company.
“He was just thrilled,” Kraybill said. “Then it just hit us on Sunday.”
Kraybill said that he and Mr. Huser were engaged.
“We kept missing states,” he said, adding that they were in New Mexico before that state achieved marriage equality. They had been planning to marry in Washington state.
As Sister Barbi, Mr. Huser contributed much to the organization of drag nuns. He had been involved in Pink Saturday and helped produce the street party in 2009, the year Michael Jackson died. According to a biography provided by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Barbi was one of the founders of the Russian River House.
While in the Bay Area, Barbi also worked with the Alexander Hamilton Post 448 of the American Legion to resurrect the Sisters’ Bingo games in the Green Room at the War Memorial Building.
During her tenure with the San Francisco House, Barbi acted as mentor and guide to potential members. She also worked with new houses of the Sisters.
Barbi teamed with late night host Stephen Colbert to help sponsor bald eagles at the San Francisco Zoo as part of the California bald eagle breeding program.
After Mr. Huser relocated to Portland, he took on a more active role with the Sisters’ Portland House.
Mr. Huser, in his capacity as Sister Barbi and as Edward, was a board associate for Folsom Street Events, the organization that produces the Folsom Street Fair, Up Your Alley Fair, and other parties catering to the leather community.
Demetri Moshoyannis, executive director of Folsom Street Events, told the B.A.R. that Mr. Huser was a great help to the organization.
“He took the lead on running our donation gates for years – maybe as many as 17 years,” Moshoyannis said. “He was a phenomenally gifted and caring man who will be missed by everyone here. We’re just devastated.”
In addition to Kraybill, who is also known as Sister Celeste L. Powers, Mr. Huser is survived by his adopted parents and sister in Wisconsin.