Passing: Gene Lippa (AKA Sadie Seville) 1967-2008

By Lavender November 20, 2008

Categories: Uncategorized


Gene Lippa, 41, died of cancer November 14 in Denver, Colorado. He was born June 23, 1967, in San Mateo, California.

After moving to the Twin Cities in the mid-1990s, Lippa was a popular female impersonator as Shady Sadie and then Sadie Seville at the Brass Rail, Trikkx, and the Venetian Inn. He was active in the Imperial Court of Minnesota (ICOM), serving as Empress VIII, Princess Royale VI, and President of the Board of Directors.

File Photo by Mike Dingels Courtesy of Imperial Court of Minnesota

Lippa is survived by his life partner, Bill Ganzer, ICOM Emperor VII; Lippa’s best friend, Amanda Martin (aka Amanda Chance Evans), named ICOM Countess for Life and Lifetime Titleholder by Seville; and many friends.

Philip A. Berglin-Rhodes (aka Heather Haldane), ICOM Emperor X and Empress XIV, said in a statement, “Sadie was a great friend and leader in the Twin Cities community. She had friends around the country. She led our most successful ICOM reign. She became a close friend to courts in Winnipeg, Iowa, Nebraska, Denver, and Colorado Springs, and was Half Empress in Regina. She was always there for the ‘Seville Family,’ and those of us who were close will always remember Gene as ‘Mom.’”

Post condolences and messages on the Sadie Seville MySpace page. And watch for an upcoming show in memory of Seville hosted by The Rochester Girls.

5 Responses to Passing: Gene Lippa (AKA Sadie Seville) 1967-2008

  1. Gina Wood says:

    I’m sorry to hear about this. I went to high school with Gene and actually dated him for 2 years. He was a wonderful person and had a great spirit. I’ve been looking to touch bases with him and I know his friends and family will truly miss him.

  2. Tracy Schwacofer says:

    I am also sorry to hear about this. I also went to high school with Gene and remember his wonderfully positive personality. We shared lunch times and classes together. He was a great friend and I had been hoping to find him again as well.

  3. AJ says:

    my name is AJ. Gene & i were very close friends when he lived in San Francisco. he was my Queen Mother.

    i went online to do a search for him under his drag name. i was certain that i would find some wonderful news on facebook or myspace.

    “died from cancer..?” Gene was an Angel! he taught me how to dress to compliment my looks. he gave me confidence & opportunities.

    i was the last person in San Francisco to see & spend time with Gene before leaving for Colorado. he stayed with me for a night then i drove him to the airport.

    i failed to keep in touch & now i am filled with regret. i can’t be left with just memories. i need something to share with someone else who remembers him.

    pictures of Gene/Shady would be so welcomed! this is a terrible shock!

    in Love & Peace:


  4. Kristin says:

    It has been awhile since Gene passed but I only now saw this wonderful article. Gene had such a powerful influence on my life. Meeting him when I was only 13 and blessed with a friendship both on- and off-stage, I credit him with several of my fondest, warmest and hysterically funny memories. Never again will I hear that unique, powerful and contagious laugh… but it will live in my mind and heart always. Gene… Sadie… You are missed.

  5. Steve White says:

    Gene and I were some of the best of friends when I was in 7th grade/ he was in 8th for a few years……I am stunned to hear about this and deeply saddened to find this out.OMG , his laugh, I can still here it (in my head) today.I’m just so sorry he passed before I could get in touch with him again, thats what I was doing when I found this article . I will never forget him either.

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