Dennis Komac

Dennis Komac pic

November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994

A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Network newsletter, December 1994

Joe LaRosa

Joe LaRosa pic

May 29, 1940 – April 18, 1994

Joseph LaRosa Jr. was born in Ann Arbor, graduated from Dexter High School, and attended Cleary Business School.  In the early 1970s, LaRosa hosted Lillian’s Down Under in the lower level of Bookie’s Club 870 in Detroit.  In December 1974, he, Michael Crawford, and Hank Trent opened the former supper club Menjo’s as a gay dance club.  LaRosa later operated Orca’s before moving to Phoenix.

Dexter Leader, May 4, 1994

Christopher Case

October 24, 1962 – July 22, 1994

Christopher Case attended Washtenaw Community College for his LPN and worked for many years in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Hospital.  Case was also active in the Ann Arbor theater scene.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 31.

Between The Lines, September 1994

Jay Manning

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November 23, 1948 – September 29, 1994

Artist Jay Manning designed the Christopher Street Detroit ’72 pride celebration logo, which showed a butterfly with sweeping wings and a clenched fist for a body.  The image also graced the window of the Green Carnation, the city’s first gay community center.  Manning died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.

Bay Area Reporter, October 10, 1994

W. Dorr Legg

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December 15, 1904 – July 26, 1994

Ann Arbor native W. Dorr Legg moved to Los Angeles in 1949 with his boyfriend following their arrest in Detroit on a charge of gross indecency between men.  In Los Angeles in 1953, he helped found ONE magazine, the first homosexual publication to reach wide circulation in the U.S.

Between The Lines, December 1994

W. Dorr Legg papers at the ONE Archives