Floral 10


Debra "DeDe" (Long) Calhoun

March 21, 1953 ~ March 25, 2019 (age 66)

On March 21, 1953 in Boston, MA, the Lord blessed the late Walter Edgar and Mattie Coger Long with the birth of their 4th child, Debra Denise (Long) Calhoun, affectionately known as “DeDe”. On March 25, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer, DeDe passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family. In August 1979, DeDe married the late Dallas Calhoun, two beautiful daughters were born from this union. In 1972 she earned a degree from Newbury College and later attended the Acupuncture Institute and Harvard University Extension School. Dede was a lifelong learner and continued her education by participating in numerous professional development trainings throughout her life. DeDe was a staunch community activist, whose passion in life was to help those without a voice. She served in many capacities in her community, and fought for numerous causes, including education reform, drug use prevention, human rights, and voter suppression. Debra was a local election commission chair. She went out and encouraged people to vote, encouraging them to use their voice to make a difference. She was also instrumental in the redevelopment of Marcella Park, located in Roxbury. She was a member of the Brockton Area N.A.A.C.P., having served as chair of many of its programs, and co-hosting the N.A.A.C.P. Forum. During her time in Brockton, she met her beloved fiancé Vincent “Vinny” Edwards, who nurtured DeDe throughout her difficult illness until her passing. DeDe was an exceptional dancer.  In 1974 she helped form Ablode, one of the first African dance companies in Boston. She used her natural gift teaching others African dance. She was a talented cook, learning how to prepare delicacies from her mom. She also enjoyed fishing, a skill she learned from her dad. DeDe had a vivacious personality and you could always count on her energetic spirit to be the life of the party. She will always be loved and missed and her legacy will forever live on. DeDe treasured her children, embracing every moment with them. She was the beloved mother of Stacey Calhoun-McCullough and her husband George of Fort Washington, Maryland, Sheliah (Calhoun) Gotha and her husband Raymond of Fort Washington, Maryland, Emmanuel Onuoha and his wife Emmanuela of Nigeria, and Lorenzo Gray and his wife Lisa of South Carolina; devoted fiancée of Vincent Edward; dear grandmother of Ava McCullough, Monique Onuoha, and Emmanuel Onuoha Jr.; sister of Joanne “Saada” Washington, Sandra “Kubé” Long, C. Sura O’Mard, and the late Walter E. Long Jr., Rev. Donald A. Long, and Harold Marcel Long. DeDe also leaves a host of family and friends. All are welcome to her Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, March 30th at 11 a.m. in Messiah Baptist Church,  80 Legion Pkwy, Brockton, with visitation in the church beginning at 9 a.m. Burial to follow at Fairview Cemetery, 45 Fairview Ave., Hyde Park. Please join the family for a repast following the burial at 3:30 p.m. at the Matfield Woods Community Center, 9 Victorian Way, West Bridgewater, MA 02379. In lieu of flowers, memorial gift donations may be made to Stacey and Sheliah Calhoun, c/o Waitt Funeral Home, 850 North Main St., Brockton, MA 02301 or online at https://venmo.com/Leah-Calhoun.

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