February 3, 1938 – June 28, 2011
At age 21, Charles Casper was among nearly three dozen men entrapped by police in a crackdown on homosexual activity at the University of Michigan in late 1959 and early 1960. He earned his B.A. at UM and went on to receive a J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. As an attorney, Casper practiced law in his hometown of LaGrange, Illinois.
Chicago Tribune, July 21, 2011
April 30, 1924 – October 31, 1989
Navy veteran and 1954 University of Michigan graduate Shearon Dudley was a 36-year-old Ypsilanti resident when he was charged in November 1959 with attempting to procure gross indecency as part of an undercover police crackdown on homosexual activity at UM. Married with six children, he had a career in marine biology and later became a minister in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
October 18, 1938 – November 3, 2003
Bryant Fillion was a 21-year-old undergrad when he was arrested in January 1960 in a crackdown on homosexual activity at the University of Michigan. He was allowed to complete his B.A. at UM and later earned degrees from Long Island University and Florida State. became a professor of education at Wichita State University. Fillion was survived by his daughters and former wife.
Wichita Eagle, November 5, 2003
March 14, 1927 – August 23, 2013
A suburban housewife and mother, Virginia Dolores Szymanski inherited the Royal Show Bar from her step-father in the early 1960s. While she owned and operated the Detroit bar, it became a popular gathering place for black sissies, black gay men, and black drag queens.
A.H. Peters Funeral Home
May 10, 1919 – December 25, 1995
A native of Philadelphia, William Angel Karagas served as a warrant officer during World War II. Beginning in 1954, he was the heterosexual owner of Detroit’s Woodward Lounge, which he operated for more than forty years with his brothers Sam and Andy.
Detroit Free Press, January 2, 1996
September 20, 1920 – April 23, 2010
A 1939 graduate of Eastern High School in Lansing, Joseph Covello served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He operated Joe Covello’s as a mainstay in Lansing’s gay community from the early 1970s until it was closed for urban renewal in the early 1990s. Covello was preceded in death by Helen, his wife of 63 years.
Lansing State Journal, April 25, 2010
July 17, 1905 – December 11, 1980
Born in Italy, Joseph Accardi immigrated to the U.S., married in 1937, and worked as a storekeeper and an autoworker in Detroit before moving to Grand Rapids. He owned and operated Papa Joe’s Show Bar from the late 1950s until his death.
Grand Rapids Press, December 13, 1980
Metra, December 18, 1980