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
April 4, 1965 – March 14, 2014
Danny W. (D.J.) Boos Jr. grew up in Beaverton and graduated from the Beaverton Rural Schools in 1982. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1989, he moved to Chicago where he worked in the hospitality industry. Long active in the Windy City LGBT community, Boos was named Mr. Chicago Leather in 1997.
Windy City Times, March 19, 2014
April 2, 1949 – June 30, 1996
Jim Paffenbarger, also known as Jimmy Leather, attended the University of Michigan for one year from 1967 to 1968 before going to work for radio station WABX. He soon returned to Ann Arbor where he was employed with the student station WCBN and later served as chief engineer at WUOM.
Between The Lines, August 1996
September 16, 1942 – June 18, 1993
Raised in Tacoma, Washington, Barry Joseph “Biejay” Brewitt served in the Army Medical Corps, attended the University of Detroit and Wayne State University, and worked for Westin Hotels. He was a founder and longtime officer in the early Detroit leather group Tribe. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 50.
Tacoma News Tribune, July 1, 1993
Cruise, July 21, 1993
April 7, 1931 – February 26, 2010
Ron Worsley taught theater at Wayne State University and Henry Ford Community College. He also produced salacious musicals for the annual “Do a Fool” weekend held by the leather group Tribe.
Between The Lines, March 18, 2010
June 28, 1940 – July 22, 1994
A longtime desk clerk at the Hotel St. Regis in Detroit, John Paul Sulek, also known as Johnny Kwaitkowski, was active in the group Studs 30 and once served as its president.
Cruise, September 7, 1994
Between The Lines, January 1995