Chet Sampson

Chet Sampson pic

October 15, 1916 – October 2, 2010

Chester James “Chet” Sampson of Los Angeles was born in Hubbell and attended Michigan Tech before transferring to the University of Michigan.  During World War II he produced variety shows in the U.S. Navy.  He later taught high school in Grosse Pointe before opening his own travel agency.  In 1965, he founded ONE in Detroit, only the second formal homosexual organization in Michigan.

Grosse Pointe News, November 4, 2010

Carl Jennings

Carl Jennings pic

September 23, 1938 – February 3, 2019

Born in Lewiston, Idaho, Carl Ivan Jennings served in the U.S. Air Force before making his way to Michigan, where, in the late 1960s, he met his life partner and later husband Lawrence Gammons.  In 1981, they opened Douglas Dunes Resort and in 2012 helped to found West Shore AWARE.  The two were featured in the 2015 WGVU documentary Michigan Hometown Stories: Saugatuck/Douglas.

Holland Sentinel, February 6, 2019

Sally Ann Hopkins

Sally Hopkins pic

April 14, 1958 – October 24, 2012

Sally Ann Hopkins was born in Jackson and graduated in the class of 1976 from Jackson High School.  She later earned her Associates Degree from Columbia College in Missouri and served 20 years in the U.S. Navy.  Following her service, Hopkins worked at Home Depot and resided in Atlanta, Indiana with her partner Kathryn “Kathi” Lee Miller.

Jackson Citizen-Patriot, October 28, 2012

Carl Rippberger

Carl Rippberger pic

October 8, 1947 – May 16, 1994

Born in Detroit, Carl Rippberger graduated from Denby High School and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a U.S. Army draftee.  He bar tended at Tiffany’s before acquiring the Escape Lounge, which he opened as Backstreet nightclub in 1979.  Rippberger served as president of the Detroit Bar Guild and helped raise funds for Wellness House and Affirmations.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.

Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1994

Cruise, May 25, 1994

Ronald Hoenig

Ronald Hoenig pic

January 8, 1947 – October 4, 2014

Ronald Hoenig of Bonita Springs, Florida was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Adrian and Blissfield.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and later operated a cabinetry business with Art Trevino, his partner of 27 years.  The couple would have liked to have married but Hoenig died months before the Supreme Court made it legally possible.

Adrian Daily Telegram, October 11, 2014

Robert Murphy

Robert Murphy pic

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

Thomas Lohr Sr.

Thomas Lohr Sr pic

May 31, 1925 – March 13, 1918

Thomas Lohr Sr. was born in Saginaw, attended Arthur Hill High School, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.  After graduating from NYU, he earned his M.D. from Harvard, then served in the Air Force before returning to Michigan, where he practiced medicine for 39 years.  In retirement, he and his husband Robert Rousch spent winters in New Mexico and summers in East Tawas.

Saginaw News, April 29, 2018