Kenny Heron

Kenny Heron pic

May 10, 1967 – September 27, 2000

Kenneth Ian “Kenny” Heron was a lifelong Detroit resident and worked for the Michigan Humane Society.  He also served for nearly five years as the popular Wednesday night DJ at Off Broadway East.  At age 33, Heron was shot and killed in an attempted carjacking on the city’s west side.

Between The Lines, October 5, 2000

William Corby

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

Steve Nader

Steve Nader pic

February 16, 1953 – February 14, 2011

Originally from Florida, Steve Nader got his start as a gay dance club DJ in Atlanta, Georgia.  After moving to Michigan in the 1970s, he helped found the Disco Pool Detroit record pool and went on to spin discs at such bars as Five West, the Gas Station, Menjo’s, the Detroit Eagle, and Off Broadway East.  He lost his life to prostate cancer at age 58.

Between The Lines [online only], May 7, 2015

Jim Stone

Jim Stone pic

May 10, 1965 – March 4, 2020

A noted figure in Detroit’s electronic music scene, James Joseph Stone Jr. was born in Royal Oak and graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham in 1984.  He attended Eastern Michigan University and came out as a young gay man on the dance floors of Todd’s and Heaven.  A musician and DJ, Stone became an important distributor and promoter of house and techno throughout the metro area.

Potere-Modetz Funeral Home

The Advocate: Jim Stone, 1965-2020

Martha VanderEyk

Martha VanderEyk pic

February 21, 1942 – November 15, 2011

Grand Rapids resident Martha VanderEyk immigrated from the Netherlands at age six with her family.  She graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High School in 1960, attended Calvin College, and earned her Bacherlor’s in Music from Grand Valley State University.  VanderEyke was employed as a business manager and was a longtime member, with her partner Leslie Kohn, of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus.

Grand Rapids Press, November 23, 2011

Kraig Knorr

Kraig Knorr pic

January 20, 1957 – November 18, 1999

Pontiac resident Kraig Marlon Knorr was born in Alpena and attended Hillman Community High School.  He served in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1979 and later earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he worked as a tutor in the writing center.  In the 1990s, Knorr worked as DJ at the State Bar in Flint and at Popper’s in Pontiac.

Alpena News, November 21, 1999

Gerry Crane

Gerry Crane pic 2

August 25, 1964 – January 3, 1997

Mount Clemens native Gerald Mark “Gerry” Crane graduated from Mount Clemens High School and attended Grand Rapids Baptist College and Calvin College.  He taught high school music in Byron Center and was loved by his students, but officials hounded him from his job in 1996 when parents learned that he and his partner Randy Block held a commitment ceremony.  Crane died from a heart attack at age 32.

Between The Lines, February 1997

Michigan Radio segment on Private Love, Public School: Gay Teacher Under Fire

Randy Seager

Randy Seager pic

September 2, 1955 – October 22, 2009

Randall Lee Seager, familiar to fans as Bucky, was longtime DJ in the 1980s and early 19980s at the Copa nightclub in Flint.  He grew up in Burton Township and Mundy Township and graduated in 1973 from Grand Blanc High School, where he sang in the Mixed Chorus and the Acapella Choir.  Later in life Seager worked as a cashier at Kroger.

Sharp Funeral Home

Aaron-Carl

Aaron-Carl pic

August 9, 1973 – September 30, 2010

Born in Detroit, Aaron-Carl attended Detroit schools and graduated from Harry S Truman High School in Taylor.  An electronic musical artist and DJ known for house, techno, and electro-funk, he received three Performers Awards of Detroit nominations and had a Top 40 hit on Billboard’s dance chart with “My House” in 1998.  He died at age 37 from lymphoma and was survived by his partner Mel Winders.

Between The Lines, October 7, 2010

LaVell Williams

Lavell Williams pic

February 23, 1967 – October 27, 2018

Roseville resident LaVell Williams grew up in Detroit, graduated from Cooley High School, and attended the Center for Creative Studies.  From 1997 to 2010, he worked at Record Time in Roseville and Ferndale and music was central to his life.  Williams was co-founder of the Detroit Sound Conservancy and volunteered with the Michigan Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, AIDS Walk Detroit, and Motor City Pride.

Detroit News, October 31, 2018

Lavelle Williams, 1967-2018 at Detroit Sound Conservancy