September 7, 1922 – May 30, 1997
Detroit native Augustus Herman Rissman was better known to members of the local gay community as Gorgeous Gussy. Noted for “a gravelly voice and gruff manner,” Rissman entertained audiences throughout the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s at such Detroit bars as the Golden Slipper, LaRosa’s, the Diplomat, and the Gold Dollar.
Cruise, June 18, 1997
May 10, 1965 – March 4, 2020
A noted figure in Detroit’s electronic music scene, James Joseph Stone Jr. was born in Royal Oak and graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham in 1984. He attended Eastern Michigan University and came out as a young gay man on the dance floors of Todd’s and Heaven. A musician and DJ, Stone became an important distributor and promoter of house and techno throughout the metro area.
Potere-Modetz Funeral Home
The Advocate: Jim Stone, 1965-2020
September 30, 1965 – May 27, 2003
Detroit native and Pershing High grad Brent O’Neal Lewis earned his B.A. from Wayne State University. He was an early participant in Men of Color and volunteered on the promotions committee for Hotter Than July. Lewis also helped launch HIV meal outreach through Full Truth Fellowship Church and visited hospitalized PWAs through the group Oliver Branch. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 37.
Between The Lines, June 19, 2003
December 8, 1940 – December 3, 1986
Originally from Minneapolis-St. Paul, David Sindt earned degrees in horticulture and divinity before earning his Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan in 1971. During his studies at UM, he examined the recently formed Detroit Gay Liberation Front. After moving to Chicago, Sindt founded Presbyterians for Gay/Lesbian Concerns. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.
David Sindt Profile at LGBTQ Religious Archives Network
David Sindt Papers at the Presbyterian Historical Society
June 17, 1935 – November 2, 1990
Richard Dutton grew up in Birmingham, graduated from high school in 1953, and served as a medic in the U.S. Army. Following his military service, he held retail jobs before starting bartending at Tiffany’s in the early 1970s. He later operated the Cove with Lin Shampine and Norm Schwartz and then worked for Menjo’s and staffed the door at the Pink Flamingo. At age 55, Dutton took his own life.
Cruise, November 14, 1990
January 7, 1967 – June 26, 2004
Schawne Anthony Parker grew up in Detroit, graduated from Chadsey High School in 1985, and attended General Motors Institute before completing his B.S. in chemistry at Michigan State University. He served as first president of Men of Color Motivational Group and was later executive director of the HIV/AIDS agency Center Health Outreach Workers. Parker was survived by his longtime partner Marius Padieu.
Between The Lines, July 8, 2004
March 5, 1951 – April 17, 1996
Native Detroiter Floyd Dunn was a playwright, civil rights activist, and leader in the 1980s of the Detroit Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. Dunn later served as the founding director of the Black AIDS non-profit organization Project Survival and advocated for the inclusion of men and women of color in clinical trials. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
No known obituary
October 2, 1956 – June 6, 1998
Timothy John Warady was born in Detroit and attended Lincoln Park High School. Diagnosed as HIV+ in the late 1980s, Warady became a tireless AIDS activist, volunteering and working with Friends Alliance, the NAMES Project, Wellness House, and other groups. He and his partner Robert Whitney shared a home in Lincoln Park. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Between The Lines, June 25, 1998
April 5, 1934 – September 25, 2012
Mancelona resident Therese Marie Bluhm attended Detroit parochial schools, received her Bachelor’s at Marygrove College, and earned her Masters at the University of Detroit. After teaching public school she moved to Massachusetts in the early 1960s and had a 33-year career with the Silver Burdett Ginn textbook company. Bluhm was preceded in death by her beloved partner Elizabeth Houston.
Boston Globe, September 26, 2012
Bedford Funeral Home
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