January 11, 1953 – December 26, 1995
Cappisene Ford, known to most in the gay community as Ms. L.T.D. (for La Twiggy Darling), began to entertain in the 1970s at the Escape, My Fair Lady, and other Detroit bars. She later went on to perform in Paris and Hong Kong. From 1979 to 1980 she served as Records Officer for the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. She died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.
No known obituary
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
August 17, 1948 – October 12, 2008
Detroit and Redford resident Dennis Andrew Lamparski was bartender and manager at a number of Detroit gay establishments back to the early 1970s, including the Town Pump, the Voyager Room, the Unicorn, and the Gas Station. He also worked for many years at the annual Metra Picnic.
Metra, October 22, 2008
June 17, 1955 – June 27, 2005
Detroit native Regi Thompson worked as a party promoter before opening his own gay club, Regine’s Off the Park, in 1997 on the city’s east side. When a fire gutted the club, Thompson rebuilt and expanded the space into a premiere dance spot. He later renamed the bar the Palladium.
Between The Lines, June 30, 2005
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
September 16, 1927 – October 2, 2005
Union Lake resident Henry Charles Trent served in the U.S. military and operated Trent’s Prime Rib Beef Market in Detroit prior to opening Menjo’s in Detroit with Mike Crawford and Joe LaRosa. Trent also owned the Prudential Health Club in Detroit.
Detroit Free Press, October 4, 2005
April 9, 1958 – August 14, 1989
Lawrence Richard Burns was born in Detroit and for nine years worked at the Backstage restaurant, first as a waiter and later as assistant manager and bookkeeper. A onetime resident of Palmer Park in Detroit, Burns lived in Westland. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Cruise, August 23, 1989