Ferd Eggan

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October 1, 1946 – July 15, 2007

Born in Lansing, Frederick Irving Eggan, later known as Ferd, grew up in Alpena and graduated from Alpena High School.  In the mid-1960s, Eggan dropped out of college to register black voters in South Carolina, later took part in the Chicago Gay Liberation Front, and in the late 1990s served as the AIDS coordinator for the City of Los Angeles.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 60.

Windy City Times, July 11, 2007

Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2007

David Goff

David Goff pic

May 17, 1962 – January 26, 1995

Born in Ann Arbor, David Bruce Goff grew up in South Lyon and graduated from Manchester High School in 1980 before joining the U.S. Navy.  He later worked as a mechanic and apartment manager.  He also volunteered with Wellness Networks and was active in the Detroit area leather community.  Goff was preceded in death by his lover Rudy Sepulvada.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 32.

Cruise, February 8, 1995

Virgil Leone

Virgil Leone pic

May 30, 1952 – November 6, 1999

Virgil Julius “Tony” Leone was born in Detroit and graduated with the class of 1970 from Mt. Pleasant High School.  At Central Michigan University, he was an early member of Gay Liberation, serving as its president in the mid-1970s.  Leone later moved to San Francisco where he worked as a Registered Nurse and became involved in local HIV/AIDS activism.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Bay Area Reporter, November 18, 1999

Cappisene Ford

Cappisene Ford pic

January 11, 1953 – December 26, 1995

Cappisene Ford, known to most in the gay community as Ms. L.T.D. (for La Twiggy Darling), began to entertain in the 1970s at the Escape, My Fair Lady, and other Detroit bars.  She later went on to perform in Paris and Hong Kong.  From 1979 to 1980 she served as Records Officer for the Michigan Organization for Human Rights.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.

No known obituary

William Townsend

William Townsend pic

July 18, 1952 – July 17, 1993

Eastpointe resident William Daryl Townsend was founding president of Friends Alliance for people with HIV, served on the board of Wellness Networks, and co-founded the Detroit chapter of ACT UP.  His appearance on WDIV’s Sonya Friedman Show was canceled in 1985 because the camera crew feared AIDS contagion.  He died of AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Cruise, July 28, 1993

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 bar tended 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, 1994

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