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
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
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
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
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
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
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
March 23, 1952 – March 5, 2009
Pleasant Ridge resident Gaye Ann Leeny grew up in Detroit. She was employed as a designer of prototypes in the automotive industry and also operated Rainbow Graphics in Hazel Park. In 1986, she joined with five others to establish Windover Resort, an all-women’s campground near the Thumb village of Owendale. Leeny was survived by her loving partner Janie Plunkett Henderson.
December 13, 1957 – May 9, 2000
The owner and operator of Boomers Deli, Carol Jane Newberg was a 1976 graduate of Dearborn High School and went on to become one of Royal Oak’s most beloved business women. Through the last year and a half of her life, as she battled cancer, Newberg was cared for by her close-knit circle of friends. She was survived by her partner Gail Green.
Between The Lines, May 18, 2000
Eulogy for Carol Newberg
June 20, 1961 – December 12, 1992
William Harrison Ashley graduated with the class of 1979 from Pontiac Central High School. In 1983, Ashley was one of three partners who opened Chosen Books in its original location on McNichols in Detroit. Ashley left the business in 1987 and moved to Ohio, later settling in Washington, DC. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.
Cruise, February 3, 1993