April 15, 1951 – February 3, 2021
Gregory Charles Piazza moved to Detroit from Wisconsin to attend Wayne State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s in speech. He soon became enmeshed in local gay culture and in 1974 moved into the Palmer Park apartment district. His research was instrumental in having the neighborhood added to the National Register of Historic Places. Piazza was also long active in the leather club Tribe.
Between The Lines, February 11, 2021 [online only]
May 28, 1925 – October 13, 1994
A resident of Indian Village in Detroit, Wendell Glynne Addington pursued racial justice in housing in two firms he founded, in helping establish the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and through a lifetime of activism. A Dallas native, Addington served in the Pacific with the Army during World War II. He was also a longtime member of the leather community and a regular face at the Detroit Eagle.
Cruise, October 19, 1994
March 3, 1945 – December 6, 1992
Native Detroiter Bruce Leonard Allen attended Lutheran West High School. He was a member of Tribe and a co-founder of Baccus and worked as a bartender at the R&R, the E-Ramp, and Ruby’s. Allen also performed as Tracy Daye, notably as a member of the house cast at Gigi’s, receiving the Performers Awards of Detroit Lifetime Achievement in 1992. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Cruise, December 16, 1992
October 4, 1955 – November 4, 1990
Detroit native William Robert “Bill” Corby II attended Ferris State University and was employed with the Chrysler Corporation. Active in the leather community, he was DJ at the R&R Saloon and the Detroit Eagle. For a time in the mid-1980s, Corby and his lover Chuck Turza worked as stewards and waiters for a Hawaiian cruise line. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.
Cruise, November 28, 1990
February 6, 1948 – October 5, 1986
Eugene Carlpeter Forrest was born in Sault Ste. Marie, graduated from Sault Ste. Marie High School in 1966, and went on to graduate from Western Michigan University. Forrest moved to San Francisco in his mid-20s where he was later president of the Barbary Coasters motorcycle club. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.
Bay Area Reporter, October 30, 1986
August 2, 1960 – February 11, 2019
James Osmond Brown II, known to customers and leather community members as Diamond Jim, grew up in Highland Park and graduated from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School. Over the years, he held such titles as Mr. R&R, Mr. Leather Detroit, and Mr. Michigan Leather and in 1994 helped form the Michigan International Gay Rodeo Association. From 2001 to 2010, Brown operated Diamond Jim’s Saloon.
Between The Lines, March 7, 2019
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
January 22, 1935 – November 5, 2017
Detroit native and Novi resident Robert Murphy served in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Chief Petty Officer from the Naval Reserves. A long active in the leather community under the name Mark Ensinger, he was a member of Detroit’s Studs 30 and the Chicago Hellfire Club. He was posthumously awarded the 2018 Chuck Renslow President’s Award by the Leather Archives and Museum.
Detroit News, November 7, 2017
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors
September 24, 1964 – March 10, 2002
Ferndale resident Lawrence James Kunkle, better known as Larry, was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated in 1973 from Warren High School. He earned his Bachelor’s in advertising from Ferris State University in 1987 and worked in advertising, journalism, and computer tech. Kunkle was active in WAGS, Wonderful Animals Giving Support, and was named Mr. Detroit Eagle 2002.
Between The Lines, April 11, 2002
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