Russell Bowman

Russell Bowman pic

January 26, 1952 – May 23, 1993

Royal Oak resident Russell Bowman Jr. was born in Detroit and grew up in Grosse Pointe, where he graduated from Grosse Pointe High School.  Bowman had a long career as an interior decorator and for many years was active in the local leather community, holding the title of Mr. Michigan Leather for 1988-89.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Cruise, June 9, 1993

Leon Smith

Leon Smith pic

August 7, 1952 – January 12, 2012

Detroiter Leon Smith attended Murray-Smith High School and became active in the local LGBT community in the 1980s.  He helped launch the Men of Color Motivational Group, was one of the original organizers of the Hotter Than July pride celebration, and took part in a support group for HIV+ men sponsored by what was then known as Kick!.

Between The Lines, January 26, 2012

Ben Lowery

Ben Lowery pic

August 25, 1952 – May 18, 1987

Born in Ann Arbor, Ben Lowery graduated from Dundee High School in 1970 and earned his Bachelor’s in telecommunications from Michigan State University in 1980.  He taught school in New Mexico before returning to Michigan to work in his father’s construction business.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 34.

Dundee Reporter, May 21, 1987

Walter Cunningham

March 25, 1952 – Declared dead October 31, 2001

A 30-year employee of GM’s Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant and a regular patron of the R&R in Detroit, Walter Greig Cunningham was murdered at age 49 in his Romulus apartment in what police believed was an anti-gay pick-up crime.

Between The Lines, November 22, 2001

Beth Kendall

beth-kendall-pic

June 10, 1952 – August 30, 2007

A native of Mason, Elizabeth Ann Kendall grew up in Mio, received her Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, and earned an MBA from Oakland University, enjoying a long career in budget and finance.  Her involvement in the Detroit area LGBTQ community included support for Affirmations and the Ruth Ellis Center.  She and her partner Torii Hamilton married in Canada in 2003.

Between The Lines, September 13, 2007