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
July 19, 1961 – June 10, 1986
Robert Dean Lowe, Boo-Boo to friends, graduated with the class of 1980 from Lakeshore High School in St. Clair Shores. He worked as doorman at Menjo’s nightclub in the mid-1980s and was co-owner of the popular afterhours dance emporium Heaven. Lowe was found shot to death in his Palmer Woods home in Detroit at age 25.
Cruise, June 18, 1986
Metra, June 18, 1986
August 2, 1960 – February 11, 2019
James Osmond Brown II, known to customers and leather community members as Diamond Jim, grew up in Highland Park and graduated from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School. Over the years, he held such titles as Mr. R&R, Mr. Leather Detroit, and Mr. Michigan Leather and in 1994 helped form the Michigan International Gay Rodeo Association. From 2001 to 2010, Brown operated Diamond Jim’s Saloon.
Between The Lines, March 7, 2019
October 24, 1944 – August 24, 1993
Detroit resident and Highland Park native Edward Walker grew up in Dearborn Township. He joined the U.S. Army following high school and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received while serving in Vietnam. During the 1970s, he worked as an assembler at Ford Motor Company. From 1980 until his death, Walker operated the Hayloft Saloon with his lover Len Lippert.
Cruise, September 22, 1993
July 19, 1941 – May 30, 2016
Taylor resident and Detroit native Diane Mary Bono graduated from Allen Park High School in 1959 and later worked as a cosmetology instructor. From 1974 to 1979, along with her then-partner Donna Chartier and their friend June Reynolds, Bono operated the Casbah Lounge, the first lesbian-owned lesbian bar in Detroit.
No known obituary
December 16, 1961 – October 21. 2007
Troy resident and Detroit native Daniel Kevin Majewski earned Associates degrees in culinary arts and accounting. He and his partner Frank Blondale operated a bakery from 1985 to 1994 and, beginning in 1991, co-owned the Detroit Eagle. Both were active supporters of local LGBTQ organizations, including the Forum Foundation and the Triangle Foundation. Their partner Thomas Stabnicki also survived him.
Windy City Times, October 31, 2007
Between The Lines, November 8, 2007
September 23, 1938 – February 3, 2019
Born in Lewiston, Idaho, Carl Ivan Jennings served in the U.S. Air Force before making his way to Michigan, where, in the late 1960s, he met his life partner and later husband Lawrence Gammons. In 1981, they opened Douglas Dunes Resort and in 2012 helped to found West Shore AWARE. The two were featured in the 2015 WGVU documentary Michigan Hometown Stories: Saugatuck/Douglas.
Holland Sentinel, February 6, 2019
April 5, 1939 – March 9, 2018
Robert Francis “Bobby” Schorle was an icon in the Grand Rapids gay community. Schorle was longtime co-owner of various bars, including the Carousel Lounge, Turn About, Carousel II, and the Cell. He was also instrumental in creating the local Queen of Hearts pageant. Born in Chicago, Schorle grew up on a fruit farm in Fennville and graduated from Fennville High School in 1957.
Chappell Funeral Home
October 8, 1947 – May 16, 1994
Born in Detroit, Carl Rippberger graduated from Denby High School and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a U.S. Army draftee. He bar tended at Tiffany’s before acquiring the Escape Lounge, which he opened as Backstreet nightclub in 1979. Rippberger served as president of the Detroit Bar Guild and helped raise funds for Wellness House and Affirmations. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.
Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1994
Cruise, May 25, 1994
Affirmations Newsletter, July 1994
February 11, 1956 – April 8, 2014
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Victor Line was longtime co-owner with his life partner Robert Wiley of Tradewinds nightclub and Triangle World bookstore in Kalamazoo. Both were also strong supporters of what was then known as the Kalamazoo Gay/Lesbian Resource Center.
Kalamazoo Gazette, April 10, 2014