John “Millie” Lippert, a former bartender at a number of Gayborhood establishments, died April 3 of cancer.
He was in his 50s. Libbert, a Harrisburg native, moved to Philadelphia several decades ago and had been a staple in the Gayborhood bar scene. Lippert worked at the now-defunct Equus, 12th Air Command, Key West and, most recently, Sisters. He was bar manager and accountant at 12th Air Command and also did the books for Sisters. Robert Beach, a bartender at Venture Inn, worked with Lippert at 12th Air years ago and remembered him for his unique sense of humor. “He was my boss and my friend,” Beach said. “He had a rough exterior to people on the outside, but on the inside, he had a heart of gold and fought for a lot of people to help them keep their jobs.” Former Key West owner Mel Heifetz said Lippert worked for him part-time at the bar in the mid-1980s and also at Equus from 1985-86. Heifetz said Lippert performed an array of tasks at the venues. “He was the person in the back of the bar. He worked as a day manager and would come in and oversee the cleaning crew, he would replace merchandise, he would handle money and count cash.” Heifetz remembered Lippert for his dependability and good work ethic. “John would be the person who would come in always; he was very trustworthy,” he said. “He was a generous person and a good person. He liked to get dressed up in drag and he enjoyed the people that would come into the bars.” Charlie Pruner, who has worked for Sisters in various capacities for the past 15 years, said he met Lippert at 12th Air, when Lippert was manager, and also worked with him when Lippert later came to Sister’s. “He would come in on Wednesdays and Fridays at Sisters and order merchandise and do the billing,” Pruner said. “He had such a good heart and he was a really, really easy-going guy. If he could help somebody, he would help them. He was always there when somebody needed him, even if it was just to listen.” Richard McPeake, owner of 12th Air Command, said Lippert worked for him for more than 10 years on both a full- and part-time basis. “He kept to himself as far as his personal life went, but he was a really good guy,” McPeake said. “He was always effective in raising money for the community at 12th Air Command.” Memorial services for Lippert are pending.