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
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
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
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
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
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
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
March 29, 1928 – November 1, 2007
A native of Ypsilanti, Mary White earned a B.A. from Eastern Michigan University in 1950, served as a counselor for the Orchard Ridge Campus of Oakland Community College from 1966 to 1992, and was active in the Gaia Women of the Great Lakes Basin chorus. She worked as a psychologist in Royal Oak before retiring to Gilbert Lake near Empire, Michigan.
Lesbian Connection, March/April 2008
April 24, 1929 – April 16, 2004
Usein “Mike” Alieff Jr. grew up in Pontiac and for many years ran his own piano school in Birmingham. He and his life companion Max LePard shared a home in Royal Oak for more than forty years. In their retirement, he and LePard were crochet instructors at the Royal Oak Senior Center.
A.J. Desmond & Sons
July 19, 1920 – October 27, 2002
Max LePard grew up in Owosso and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He owned a beauty salon in Birmingham in the 1960s and later operated his own graphic art business in Royal Oak, where he lived for more than forty years with his life partner Usein Alieff.
Daily Tribune, October 29, 2002