May 29, 1963 – February 2, 1995
Hamtramck resident George Benjey was born in Detroit, grew up Downriver, and graduated from Woodhaven High School in 1981. A longtime member of Metro Detroit’s LGBTQ community, Benjey worked at the Gold Coast Saloon, Backstage, and Tiffany’s.
Cruise, February 8, 1995
Metra, February 15, 1995
May 8, 1948 – January 19, 1995
Ferndale resident and pioneering AIDS activist Richard William Villaire was born in Wyandotte and attended Roseville High School and Ferris State University before earning his B.A. in psychology at Eastern Michigan University. He was an officer of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights and was a founder of Wellness Networks, Friends Alliance, and the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project.
Between The Lines, February 1995
Metra, February 15, 1995
Between The Lines, March 1995
January 13, 1964 – October 25, 1995
Jeffry Florian Kucharski of Dearborn earned a piano scholarship to Wayne State University. He later received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the Wayne State Law School. Kucharski worked as helpline coordinator at Affirmations Community Center and enjoyed traveling with his partner of 12 years Tom Wilczak. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.
Between The Lines, December 1995
Between The Lines, December 1996
December 26, 1943 – May 12, 1995
Born in Detroit, hairdresser Anthony Caputo attended the Virginia Farrell Beauty School and landed a job at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York at age 20. He returned to Michigan in the early 1980s and later learned he was HIV-positive. Caputo went on to help found AIDS Walk Detroit and work as volunteer coordinator for Wellness House. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 51.
Detroit Free Press, May 18, 1995
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 6, 1951 – July 7, 1995
A Sioux raised in South Dakota and formerly known as Mervyn Moore, White Eagle was a member of the Church of Today in Warren. In the mid-1980s, he was profiled for People magazine after drawing national attention for his tenor voice. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 43.
Cruise, July 26, 1995
June 19, 1928 – October 20, 1995
Negaunee native Jack Genore performed as Fat Jack at the Diplomat, the Gold Dollar, and other Detroit drag venues during the 1960s and 1970s. He was particularly noted for his rendition of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
Mining Journal, October 22, 1995