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
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
March 9, 1947 – March 31, 1987
Allen Robinson grew up in Port Huron and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Robinson moved to Detroit in his early 20s, lived for a time in San Francisco, and in the early 1980s returned to Michigan, where he worked at Tiffany’s and the Interchange, and at Metra magazine as managing editor. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Cruise, April 8, 1987
April 12, 1959 – June 20, 1993
Detroiter Pete Malek graduated from Cody High School and worked as a waiter in Phoenix, Arizona before returning to his hometown, where he was a familiar face at Tiffany’s. He died of complications from AIDS at age 34.
Cruise, July 7, 1993
October 24, 1962 – July 22, 1994
Christopher Case attended Washtenaw Community College for his LPN and worked for many years in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Hospital. Case was also active in the Ann Arbor theater scene. He died of complications from AIDS at age 31.
Between The Lines, September 1994
February 23, 1958 – August 11, 1990
Kraig Debus grew up in Warren and earned his B.A. in advertising in 1981 from Michigan State University, where he served on the staff of the State News. After graduation, Debus moved to Chicago. He died of complications from AIDS at age 32.
Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1990
November 8, 1957 – July 9, 1988
A native of Orange County, California, Michael Raymond Shuty attended Michigan State University in the late 1970s and later moved to Houston. He died of complications from AIDS at age 30.
This Week in Texas, July 22, 1988