April 16, 1919 – April 19, 1995
Cleveland, Ohio native Ralph Anthony O’Reilly served as a Navy lieutenant in the Pacific during World War II and later landed in Detroit where he was employed as an engineer with General Motors and met his life partner of 43 years Ralph Stallings. The couple moved to Davisburg in the early 1960s and operated a Japanese bonsai nursery until they retired to southern California.
Times-Advocate, April 25, 1995
February 15, 1939 – April 5. 1995
Grand Rapids native and Alpine Township resident Daniel Kenneth Brauer graduated from Ottawa Hillls High School in 1957 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963. Brauer was pastor of the Muskegon Metropolitan Community Church from 1991 until his death from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty water heater in his home. He also served a vice chair of Muskegon Area AIDS Resource Services.
Muskegon Chronicle, April 7, 1995
Third Coast Magazine, May 1995
March 24, 1965 – November 21, 1995
Warren resident Charles Petty grew up around Waterford and Pontiac and graduated with the class of 1983 from Lake Orion High School. He was a bartender at the Woodward and the Other Side, as well as a dancer at the Gold Coast. Petty later handled maintenance at the TNT Health Club and his lover was Danny Potter. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 30
Cruise, December 13, 1995.
February 2, 1944 – April 3, 1995
David John Zechel of Farmington Hills was born in Detroit and graduated from Edwin Denby High School in 1962. He went on to work as a noted local interior decorator. In the early 1970s, along with his then partner, Rev. Robert Cullinan, Zechel was an early member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 51.
Detroit Free Press, April 5, 1995
February 13, 1963 – January 10, 1995
Port Huron native and lifelong resident Charles James Jewell graduated with the class of 1981 from Port Huron High School and worked as a computer operator for a local bank. Confronted few resources in St. Clair County for people with HIV, Jewell founded HIV/AIDS Support Services in 1993. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.
Cruise, January 18, 1995
October 10, 1949 – January 15, 1995
Joseph Mattingley Zendell coordinated programs for the Michigan Council for the Arts in Detroit from 1974 to 1981. Active in the Association of Suburban People and the Motor City Business Forum, he also served as an early financial officer with the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. In 1982, Zendell moved to Illinois to lead the Evanston Arts Council. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Chicago Tribune, January 21, 1995
January 26, 1963 – March 9, 1995
Scott Bernard Amedure moved to Waterford from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was five, left high school at 17 to join the U.S. Army, and later worked as a bartender at Popper’s in Pontiac. In March 1995, two days after Amedure revealed his secret crush on his straight acquaintance Jonathan Schmitz during a taping of the Jenny Jones Show, Schmitz murdered him in his Orion Township mobile home.
Between The Lines, April 1995
July 9, 1903 – July 18, 1995
Born in Menominee in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Leo Adams moved in his 20s to Chicago, where he managed the Chicago Theatre. He moved to New York City in 1928 and oversaw the shift from silent to sound for Fox movie houses. Adams later worked as an executive with Macy’s flagship department store. He bequeathed his extensive correspondence with other gay men to the New York Public Library.
New York Times, July 23, 1995
Leo Adams: A Gay Life in Letters, 1928-1952 at OutHistory
Leo Adams Papers at the New York Public Library
January 9, 1962 – November 7, 1995
Actor, director, playwright, and Grand Rapids native Michael Gerard Barto of Chicago earned his B.A. in theater at the University of Michigan-Flint. In 1987, while pursuing his M.F.A. at the University of Iowa, Barto directed and co-wrote The Wizard of AIDS, which was performed more than 700 times over seven years throughout the Midwest. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 33.
Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1995
July 6, 1950 – May 1, 1995
John Barry Ferman attended Davison High School and worked as a go-go dancer in Detroit gay bars during the 1970s. While pursuing a degree in psychology, he founded the first gay student organization at the University of Michigan-Flint. A longtime Flint resident, Ferman spent his last years in Key West, Florida. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Flint Journal, May 4, 1995