William Corby

October 4, 1955 – November 4, 1990

Detroit native William Robert “Bill” Corby II attended Ferris State University and was employed with the Chrysler Corporation.  Active in the leather community, he was DJ at the R&R Saloon and the Detroit Eagle.  For a time in the mid-1980s, Corby and his lover Chuck Turza worked as stewards and waiters for a Hawaiian cruise line.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.

Cruise, November 28, 1990

Richard Dutton

Richard Dutton pic

June 17, 1935 – November 2, 1990

Richard Dutton grew up in Birmingham, graduated from high school in 1953, and served as a medic in the U.S. Army.  Following his military service, he held retail jobs before starting bartending at Tiffany’s in the early 1970s.  He later operated the Cove with Lin Shampine and Norm Schwartz and then worked for Menjo’s and staffed the door at the Pink Flamingo.  At age 55, Dutton took his own life.

Cruise, November 14, 1990

Bruce Dettloff

Bruce Dettloff pic

August 6, 1940 – December 29, 1990

Bruce Dettloff started his gay bar career as a waiter at the Conquest Lounge in Detroit, rising to the position of manager and rechristening it Blue Boy.  In 1975, he opened the Gold Coast Saloon and later operated Applause.  He also helped establish the BTI Bowling League and was co-founder of the Detroit Bar Guild.  Dettloff was shot and killed at his home at age 50.

Cruise, January 9, 1991

Ten Percent, January 15-28, 1991

Michael Phelan

Michael Phelan pic

June 6, 1949 – January 9, 1990

Michael Phelan grew up in St. Clair Shores and graduated from Lakeview High School.  During the 1970s, he performed female impersonation as Whitney Blake at various Detroit bars and won titles for Miss Todd’s, Miss Bookie’s, and Miss Michigan before moving to California.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Cruise, January 24, 1990

Diane Kotila

Diane Kotila pic

May 28, 1969 – June 23, 1990

Diane Kotila was born in Southfield and graduated with the class of 1987 from Kimball High School in Royal Oak.  She was a student at Oakland University and was employed by William Beaumont Hospital.  After losing her life in an automobile accident, friends held a benefit at the Railroad Crossing for a fund in her name at Affirmations to help provide lesbian and gay youth with counseling and support.

Royal Oak Daily Tribune, June 24, 1990

Affirmations newsletter, September 1990

Michael Murray

April 28, 1949 – November 7, 1990

Michael Murray earned a Bachelor’s in theology at Loyola University of Chicago and oversaw religious education at two Catholic parishes and at the Michigan School for the Deaf in the mid-1970s.  Murray was a founding member of Dignity/Flint and portrayed Jesus in productions of Godspell with the Flint Community Players in 1977 and 1984.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Indianapolis Star, November 12, 1990

Flint Journal, December 11, 1990

Tom Stephens

Tom Stephens pic

February 11, 1948 – May 7, 1990

Known to viewers as Tom Stephens, Detroit native Thomas Stephen Jarzynski worked as weather forecaster for WJRT-TV 12 in Flint from 1984 to 1988.  Stephens disclosed his AIDS diagnosis with his former station colleagues in an interview that was broadcast after his death.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.

Flint Journal, May 8, 1990

Tom Bartley

November 19, 1947 – January 10, 1990

Utica resident Thomas Michael Bartley grew up in Port Huron, earned his B.S. in nursing in Houston and a Master’s in nursing from Mercy College in Detroit.  He sang in the choir at Zion Lutheran Church in Ferndale and was involved in both Wellness Networks and AIDS Interfaith Network.  Bartley was survived by two children and his lover Jim Proffitt.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.

Detroit Free Press, January 11, 1990

Kraig Debus

Kraig Debus pic

February 23, 1958 – August 11, 1990

Kraig Debus grew up in Warren and earned his B.A. in advertising in 1981 from Michigan State University, where he served on the staff of the State News.  After graduation, Debus moved to Chicago.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 32.

Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1990

Christopher Flynn

christopher-flynn-pic

April 29, 1931 – October 29, 1990

A onetime executive assistant with the Joffrey Ballet, Christopher Flynn operated a private dance studio in Rochester in the early 1970s and introduced his student and future superstar Madonna to gay nightlife at Menjo’s.  In 1977, Flynn served as a founding officer of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 58.

Cruise, November 7, 1990

Ten Percent, January 1-14, 1991