Carl Rippberger

Carl Rippberger pic

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 bartended 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, 2994

Cruise, May 25, 1994

Ricky Kirkwood

Ricky Kirkwood pic

September 23, 1964 – June 18, 1999

Detroit resident James Richard Kirkwood Jr. was employed with a credit union.  He learned he had HIV in 1989 and kept his status secret from his family for nine years out of shame and fear of rejection for his sexuality.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.

Between The Lines, July 1, 2004

Lawrence Burns

Lawrence Burns pic

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

Dan Stoepker

Dan Stoepker pic

March 26, 1949 – August 5, 2005

Onetime Birmingham resident Daniel Lee Stoepker was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986.  He was a church elder active in Presbyterians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns and served on the board of directors for AIDS Partnership Michigan.  Stoepker was preceded in death by his partner Brad Kosko and survived by his daughter and son.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 56.

Between The Lines, August 11, 2005

Robin Ware

Robin Ware pic

November 26, 1957 – August 31, 2003

Taylor resident Robin Enez Ware contracted HIV from her husband and passed the virus to her daughter at birth.  As a social worker for AIDS Partnership, Ware targeted outreach to at-risk populations and help educate people that AIDS was not simply a gay disease, work that was highlighted in a July 1997 issue of the Detroit Free Press.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.

No known obituary

Scott McCready

Scott McCready pic

August 3, 1947 – May 14, 1992

Mt. Clemens native and resident Scott McCready attended Hillsdale College before moving to California.  He returned to Metro Detroit in the mid-1980s after learning he had HIV.  As president of Friends Alliance for two years, McCready was a prominent local advocate for Persons with AIDS.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.

Detroit Free Press, May 15, 1992

Michigan Tribune, February 6, 1992