Oliver Sipple

Oliver Sipple pic

November 20, 1941 – February 2, 1989

Oliver Wellington Sipple was born in Detroit, grew up in Royal Oak, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970, including a tour-of-duty in Vietnam.  After leaving the military, he moved to San Francisco, where he could live a more open gay life.  On September 22, 1975, Sipple made headlines and history when he prevented an attempted assassin from shooting President Gerald Ford.

New York Times, February 4, 1989

Radiolab story on Oliver Sipple

Ernest Gutierrez Jr.

Ernest Gutierrez pic

February 15, 1944 – November 3, 2014

A native of Ecuador with a Bachelor’s from Columbia University and a Master’s from American University, Ernest “Tito” Gutierrez Jr. enjoyed a 20-year career at the Kresge Foundation in Troy.  While a resident of Royal Oak, Gutierrez served on the board for Affirmations and played a significant role in capital fundraising for construction of the community center’s own building in downtown Ferndale.

Between The Lines, November 13, 2014

Tony Maniaci

Tony Maniaci pic

August 5, 1984 – March 7, 2013

Pleasant Ridge resident Anthony Leonard Maniaci was born in Detroit.  He worked as a popular bartender at Menjo’s and Backstreet in Detroit, and at Pronto in Royal Oak.  At the time of his death, Maniaci was manager at Inuendo.

OutPost, March 13, 2013

Larry Frost

Larry Frost pic

April 11, 1941 – July 24, 1973

Larry Frost grew up in Royal Oak.  He left Metro Detroit as a young adult and lived in various cities until he landed in New Orleans, where he worked as a bar manager and attended the local Metropolitan Community Church.  Frost is believed to be one of three unidentified arson victims of the Upstairs Lounge Fire that killed 32 people.

The Advocate, November 15, 2015

Kathleen Canteen

Kathleen Cantine pic

January 27, 1948 – May 16, 2015

Kathleen Canteen was born in Jackson and earned for B.A. in political science from Eastern Michigan University.  As a resident of Royal Oak and Lansing, she played fast-pitch softball.  Canteen worked as a supervisor with the Center For Forensics Psychiatry for the State of Michigan before moving to Los Angeles, where she was employed in the motion picture industry.

Lesbian Connection, November/December 2015

Russell Bowman

Russell Bowman pic

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

Neva Weidig

Neva Weidig ipic

August 3, 1926 – December 26, 2013

Detroit native Neva Weidig graduated from Denby High School in 1944 and earned her Bachelor’s from Heidelberg University in 1949.  She was a Girl Scout troop leader and was employed with Kmart corporate headquarters.  Weidig shared a home in Royal Oak with her partner of 45 years Dianne Chapman.

Daily Tribune, December 27, 2013

Gramer Funeral Home