Wallace M. DeCuir Jr.

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March 12, 1922 - May 4, 2014 Handsome, charismatic Wallace died of natural causes May, 4, 2014 after a year of challenging health issues. He was 92 years old. A lifetime resident of Los Angeles, CA, Wallace was born on Avery Island in New Iberia, Louisiana. His mother, Daisy Avery DeCuir, brought him to Los Angeles at the age of four months. His father, Wallace DeCuir, had passed away shortly before Wallace's birth. Wallace grew up and flourished on the Eastside of Los Angeles, raised by his loving mother, Daisy DeCuir Crockett and devoted step-father, Alfred Crockett. They both predeceased Wallace in 1968 and 1977. Wallace attended elementary, junior high and Polytechnic High schools. As a young adult, he attended classes at UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC before and after his stint in the U.S. Navy. Extremely intelligent and talented, Wallace was interested in engineering, but ultimately decided upon a career in the Los Angeles Fire Department, a career lasting over 32 years. He was a firefighter and early paramedic with distinguished service and challenges due to racial bias as fire stations were being racially integrated. Wallace was not only a legendary fireman, but also a very successful businessman, creating his own carpet company with contracts all over the Southland. The quintessential family man and provider, Wallace wooed and later married Myrtle Kensie in 1949. They parented two sons, Wallace M. DeCuir, II, called "Mike" and brother, John, both of whom tragically predeceased him; Mike in 1975 and John in 2010. Myrtle and Wallace were happily married for over 61 years until her death in 2010. An avid jazz lover and traveler, he and his family traveled worldwide, went on jazz cruises and attended the Monterey and Playboy Jazz Festivals for over 40 years. He amassed a large collection of jazz recordings and had grown up with many of the musicians of the 1940's and 1950's who were part of the Central Avenue Dunbar Hotel era. Wallace was revered as a truly loyal friend, best man and mentor. He was the "Head of the Family," taking seriously that responsibility for all of his life. He was a proud founding member of the Cosmos Men's Social Club, a member of the Eastsiders and the loyal fireman's group, the Stentureans. A true "Man for All Seasons", Wallace leaves to mourn, still love and forever miss him, his beloved granddaughter Jackie DeJon DeCuir, daughter-in-law, Debra DeCuir, his close cousin/sister, Geraldine Pratt, her daughters, Diane, Donna, Deborah and Deidre and their children, his trusted and devoted caretaker and nephew, Fred Wilson, nephew, Cato Tony and Robin Wilson and family, niece, Jan Conway, Ron Benjamin, cousins Garfield and Pamela Broussard, Deanna Broussard McGee and Ken, Ruth Broussard, David Broussard, Beverly Anna Broussard, Dr. Harry LaMotte and Geraldine LaMotte and family, close family friend, Barbara Martin, Minister Cathy Lee, his loving companion, Cosetta Moore and more friends, peers and admirers than can be counted. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at Angelus Funeral Home at 1:00 p.m. Interment to follow at Inglewood Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wilfandel Club, 3425 West Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90018 and the African American Firefighters Museum, 1401 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. 90021.
Funeral Home
Angelus Funeral Home
3875 South Crenshaw Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 296-6666
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 10 to May 13, 2014
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