Ralph O’Reilly

Ralph OReilly pic2

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

Ralph Stallings

Ralph Stallings pic

March 11, 1910 – February 8, 1994

World War II vet Ralph Thompson Stallings began working as a bellhop while attending Saginaw High School and rose in the ranks of hotels in Flint and Detroit.  He met his life partner Ralph O’Reilly at a bridge party when neither played bridge.  They soon shared an apartment in Detroit and later a home in Davisburg, where they raised Japanese bonsai before moving to Escondido, California in the early 1980s.

Times-Advocate, February 11, 1994

Sandino Ciccarelli

Sandino Ciccarelli pic

March 18, 1943 – August 16, 1990

Born in Dearborn and a graduate of Fordson High School, Sandino “Sandy” Ciccarelli established Sandino’s Flowers in Redford with business partner Ron Huddleston in the mid-1960s.  Together with Keith Foster, Ciccarelli opened the Timesquare dance club in downtown Detroit in 1989.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Cruise. August 22, 1990

Ten Percent, September 1990

Brian Killian

Brian Killian pic

June 3, 1947 – March 9, 2005

Born in Detroit, Brian Joseph Killian earned his B.A. at Ferris State and MBA at Wayne State.  He taught at Grosse Pointe North High School before switching careers and becoming a celebrated interior designer.  Killian donated generously to the Triangle Foundation and served as co-chair of the 1993 Human Rights Campaign Michigan Dinner gala fundraiser.  A fire in his Birmingham home took his life.

Detroit Free Press, March 11, 2005

Between The Lines, March 17, 2005

John Schallberg

John Schallberg pic

October 10, 1953 – October 8, 1978

Born in Battle Creek, John Wayne Schallberg attended Climax-Scotts High School, graduated from American Beauty College, and operated the Masquerade Shop in Climax.  He was a participant in the Kalamazoo Gay Liberation Front and, as Nadine, was one of several drag queens who rode the hood of a Ford in Detroit’s first pride parade in 1972.  Schallberg took his own life just before his 25th birthday.

Kalamazoo Gazette, October 10, 1978

Jean Roberts

Jean Roberts pic

July 3, 1923 – August 31, 2020

Mt. Pleasant resident Jean Roberts grew up on a farm in rural Iowa and attended Western Michigan University, where she played tuba in the symphony.  She went on to teach physical education in Kalamazoo and at Comstock High School and later worked as a counselor in the Reed City schools.  For 15 years, Roberts and her life partner Janet Bush operated J & J Leather.

Morning Sun, September 1, 2020

Sara Brieden

Sara Brieden pic

November 13, 1963 – May 27, 1996

Born in Howell, Grosse Pointe Farms resident Sara Maria Briden grew up in Grosse Pointe and graduated with the class of 1981 from South High School.  She later attended the Ford School of Nursing and the University of Michigan before becoming a beauty consultant and operating her own business.  An active runner and swimmer, Breden was also a supporter of Affirmations Community Center.

Grosse Pointe News, May 30, 1996

David Zechel

David Zechel pic 2

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

Randy McGinn

Randy McGinn pic

April 25, 1950 – January 21, 1991

Randy Hutton McGinn of Key West, Florida graduated with the Owosso High School class of 1968 and went on to attend Michigan State University and the Virginia Ferrell School of Cosmetology in St. Clair Shores.  McGinn owned Randy’s Coiffer’s in Owosso and previously operated The Ultimate Image in Lansing.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Key West Citizen, January 22, 1991

Karen C_____

March 8, 1954 – March 27, 2013

Karen C_____ was born in Goodrich and grew up in Ortonville.  She was later heterosexually married, raised two children, and for 13 years operated her own restaurant.  At the time of her death at age 59, she resided in Spring Hill, Florida.  She was survived by her partner Tammy.

Oakland Press, March 29, 2013