Psalms 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever". Alphonse Joseph Ducre' Jr., age 87 years old, was born January 1, 1933, in Bayou Lacombe, LA. He was the last of nine children born to the union of the late Alphonse Joseph Ducre' Sr. and Regina Batiste Ducre'. He departed this life on September 4, 2020 at 1:57 pm under the care of Vibra Hospital in Crown Point, IN. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age, reared in the Roman Catholic faith, and remained an avid and active church member his entire adult life. AJ Ducre' Jr. was educated in the St. Tammany Parish School system, completing high school at the age of 14 years old. In those years immediately following HS, he worked odd jobs around his hometown. At the age of 19 or 20 years old, he was called to serve his country and drafted into the US Army. He is a veteran of the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged after serving his 2 year tenure. After returning stateside, he enrolled in University, attaining his Bachelor of Science in Biology, Magna Cum Laude from Dillard University, New Orleans in 1962, and later his Masters Degree in Education from Southern University, Baton Rouge. He also had several hours towards his PhD. In 1957, while attending the historic (and now defunct) Leland College in Baker, LA, he met a young lady on a blind date. Her name was Vivian Mae Williams. They cut a rug that night on the dance floor and from that night on she would become his lifelong partner in love and life for the next 63 years. They would marry August 14, 1967 in a small Catholic wedding mass. These newlyweds left their respective homes in Louisiana permanently and relocated to , the once thriving metropolis of, Gary, IN, in search of better job opportunities. To their union 3 children were born: Alphonse Joseph Ducre' III, Lenore Regina Ducre' Caldwell and Briggetta Ducre'. MR. DUCRE' was a very well known and respected educator in the area of Science and Biology for well over 40 years. He taught for several years in the Orleans and St. Tammany Parish School systems in LA before relocating to Gary, IN. He taught at Roosevelt HS, Horace Mann HS, Froebel HS, before ending his tenure at Tolleston Junior HS in 1998. For a few years after retirement, he taught Science and nature at the Deep River Educational Center. He worked tirelessly as an active union rep and president of his local teacher's union to ensure that he and his fellow employees and other staff members were treated and compensated fairly. Very active in local politics and community affairs, he was an active member of the Gary Chapter of the NAACP, Tolle-Mann Association (President), A. Phillip Randolph Organization, Lake county Right To Life (President) and Amvets Post 6, Gary, IN. He campaigned vigorously for the political candidates he felt best served the communities collective interests. "Duke", as he was affectionately known by family and friends, was an AVID self taught blues guitar player and a very talented singer. He often spoke fondly of that one night, in the 1950's, when he was asked to take the stage of a hometown club with his guitar to accompany that nights entertainer, his regular player was a no show. This entertainer was an up and coming star named Riley B. King (BB King). Riley asked him "What note you playin?" Duke replied " I don't know" (he could not read music at that time). Riley then said "Just start playin and we will follow." He had a lifelong love affair with his guitar and NEVER missed an opportunity to play. As children, we would often hear him strumming her and singing solo, especially at night. One can only imagine it was his happy, therapeutic place and where he found solace. AJ Ducre' Jr. was preceded in death by his parents, Alphonse and Regina Ducre'; his siblings, Madeline Ducre', Marcil Durcre' Sr., Celina Lafitte Ordogne, Naomi Ducre', Leona "Bill" Pierre, Mildred F. LeGarde; nine brothers-in-law; 4 sisters-in-law; his beloved niece, Lea "Myrtle" Lafitte Allen; and nephews , Alced Lafitte, Rudy Gardette, Johnny Pierre, Jr., Paul Henry Sylve, Kevin Gerard Sylve, and son-in-law, Michael McDonald. Those left to cherish his memory and legacy: his loving and devoted wife of 53 years, Vivian Ducre' ; five children, Juanesta Ducre' Johnson, Althea Ducre', Alphonse (Candace) Ducre' III, Lenore Ducre' (Lee Roy) Caldwell and Briggetta Ducre' (Larry) 5 grandchildren, Christy Johnson, Eddie (Stephanie) Johnson II, Jordan Johnson, Dorian K. Ducre' and Duke Lee Caldwell; 3 great-grandchildren, Jaylyn, Liam and Ava; 2 sisters, Mardis Ratliff Walters of Hattiesburg, MS and Marie Sylve of Gary, IN. He also leaves a host of many loved nieces, nephews, other relatives and cherished friends. 2 Corinthians 5:8 "We are confident, I say and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord". May God bless the Ducre' families.
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