Roy Warren

November 14, 1964 – July 14, 1994

Shelby Township resident Roy Vance Warren was born in Grosse Pointe and attended the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint.  Warren served as president of the Detroit Sign Theater and was involved in other deaf organizations.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 29.

Cruise, August 10, 1994

Joseph Maldonado

Joseph Maldanado pic

March 22, 1949 – July 25, 1989

Born in Detroit, Joseph Daniel Maldonado grew up in Saginaw and moved back to Detroit following high school.  Through much of the 1970s he performed as Dani DiLetto at such clubs at Morey’s, the Iron Hinge, and Bookie’s Club 870.  DiLetto was awarded the title of Miss Gay America in 1976 when the original winner had the crown rescinded.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Saginaw News, July 27, 1989

This Week in Texas, August 11, 1989

Russell Bowman

Russell Bowman pic

January 26, 1952 – May 23, 1993

Royal Oak resident Russell Bowman Jr. was born in Detroit and grew up in Grosse Pointe, where he graduated from Grosse Pointe High School.  Bowman had a long career as an interior decorator and for many years was active in the local leather community, holding the title of Mr. Michigan Leather for 1988-89.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Cruise, June 9, 1993

Roger McKinney

December 1, 1960 – December 4, 1994

Detroit native Roger Alan McKinney graduated from Fraser High School in 1979.  McKinney bartended at the Back Pocket and the CCW in the early 1980s before moving to South Haven, where he worked as a nurse’s aide at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.

Cruise, December 14, 1994

Keith Foster

Keith Foster pic

October 9, 1955 – October 13, 1992

Alvin Keith Foster grew up in Taylor and Romulus, attending Christian schools before landing a job as an upholsterer for General Motors.  After taking  classes in floral design, he began working for Flowers by Sandino in Redford Township.  In 1989, with Sandino Ciccarelli, Foster opened the Timesquare dance club in downtown Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 37.

Cruise, October 21, 1992

Dennis Komac

Dennis Komac pic

November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994

A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Network newsletter, December 1994

Vicki Marlane

Vicki Marlane pic

September 5, 1934 – July 3, 2011

Minnesota native Vicki Marlane was among a troupe of female impersonators who performed at the Diplomat Lounge in Detroit in the early 1960s.  Born Donald Sterger, Marlane underwent gender affirmation surgery in San Francisco, where she continued to perform into her 70s.  She was subject of the 2009 documentary Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 76.

Bay Area Reporter, July 14, 2011

Vicki Marlane photographs and artifacts at the GLBT Historical Society

Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight on Vimeo