It saddens me to tell you that Smoky Mountains Bulldog Club lost a very dear friend and charter member Sunday. LJ DeCuir passed away after a valiant three-year struggle with cancer.
During the course of his illness, it became more difficult for LJ to attend SMBC functions. Many of our newer members may not know him very well, so I wanted to share a few words with you about him. LJ was one of the most versatile people I’ve every met. His interests ranged from computers to fly fishing to Bulldogs. He recently retired from the University of Tennessee where he taught lighting design for 25 years. He authored three books, on topics as diverse as theater design and fly fishing. He was an avid model builder and just recently completed a fully operational fire boat (which he christened Jordan, after my little bully girl).
LJ was very knowledgeable and experienced in Bulldogs. He was active in the Oak Ridge Kennel Club, where he served as club secretary, president and show chairman. He was also a member of Music City Bulldog Club.
Most near and dear to my heart and to you as members of Smoky Mountains Bulldog Club are the contributions that he made to this club. He was a founding member and served on the Board of Directors for many years. His wife, Mari, is also a valuable member, and is SMBC secretary. LJ was Show Chairman for our first AKC licensed specialty show. He designed and established our first web site, going so far as to research and find an organization to host our web site at no cost to the club. LJ was also very committed to Bulldog rescue. As the first chairman of the Smoky Mountains Bulldog Club Rescue Program, he established policies and procedures for helping unwanted bulldogs. He also regularly fostered rescue Bullies that were considered unsalvageable.
Although our hearts are sad about losing LJ, let’s spend this time together celebrating his life and discussing ideas for establishing a lasting and meaningful memorial in his honor. LJ was our dear friend and our lives are much richer for having known him.
Ranee K. Randby President