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Lawrence Reginald "Reggie" Lucas, 89, died during the early morning hours on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at the VA Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
Mr. Lucas was the grandson of the Rev. Cornelius S. Lucas, slave and "manservant" to Major Pollock during the Confederate War. For his service to Major Pollock, the Rev. Lucas received a pension from the Confederate Army and a certificate of appreciation for a job well done from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The Rev. Lucas' picture hangs on the Wall of Honor in the Fredericksburg Courthouse.
The Rev. Lucas was his grandson's role model, and Mr. Lucas dedicated his life to service. After his graduation from Walker-Grant High School, and one semester at Virginia State College (now University), Reggie, as he had been know all his life in the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania County area, was one of the first blacks permitted to join the segregated U.S. Marine Corps in 1943. He trained at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., and served during World War II and the Korean War.
Mr. Lucas was a proud lifetime member of the Montford Point Marine Association. He had affiliations with both Washington, D.C., Chapter 6 and Quantico Chapter 32. For his service to our country as an original Montford Point Marine, Mr. Lucas was presented the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian recognition awarded by the U.S. government, on June 27, 2012.
As a civilian employee at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Mr. Lucas supported the Marines as a supply manager. One of his more interesting responsibilities was measuring and providing newly enlisted Marines with their first dress uniforms. Years later, and until his retirement from Quantico, he was responsible for the final supply and transportation inspection of Marine One (HMX1), the presidential helicopter.
Locally, many people knew Reggie for his skills as a barber, which he loved and saw as a skill to supplement an honest living and as an opportunity to socialize. His favorite time of year was fall, back-to-school time, when he looked forward to sending many children off to school with clean haircuts. He was also an expert at cutting "the bob" for ladies. As long as he was healthy and able, Reggie spent his Saturday mornings providing free haircuts and shaves to those sick and shut in.
Religious service was very important in Mr. Lucas' life, and he was an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site). He worked tirelessly as a trustee, making sure the church was always well-maintained and ready for any event or occasion. He was an active member of the Church Aid Club and the church Home Mission clubs. In the community, he was probably the first and only male member of the Sylvannah Home Extension Club, an organization he joined to assist his late wife, Frances, in her role when she served as president. He was also an active member of the Fredericksburg Area Lupus Chapter and the Virginia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.
Mr. Lucas lived in Spotsylvania, at his home of more than 50 years that he shared with Frances, who was called home to the Lord in July 2011. Until recently, he shared his home with his son, Reggie D. Lucas Sr. When he learned he had lung cancer, he moved to Greensboro, N.C., to live with his daughter, Cheryl, and her husband, Marty Hepburn Sr. During his stay in there, Mr. Lucas maintained his connection to his many friends through his cellphone, email and his favorite social media site, Facebook.
Survivors include his sons, Reggie D. Lucas Sr. of Spotsylvania, Ronnie S. Lucas of Greensboro; his daughter, Cheryl L. Hepburn (Marty) of Greensboro; his grandchildren, Reggie D. Lucas Jr. of Columbus, Ohio, Jasmine C. Hepburn of Rocky Mount, N.C., and Marty I. Hepburn Jr. of Boone, N.C.; one great-grandson, Reggie D. Lucas III; very special nieces Shirley Hill (James) of Stafford County and Carolene Lewis (Bruce); and other nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends he loved dearly.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at A.L. Bennett and Son Funeral Home. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site.) Burial will follow at 1:30 p.m. in Quantico National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Montford Point Marine Association Chapter 32 Ladies Auxilary, Box 371, Stafford, Va. 22554.