Vernon Henry “Rex” Decossas, Jr., 80, a native of New Orleans and a resident of Baton Rouge, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at the Crossing at Clarity Hospice. He was born on October 7, 1939 on his grandmother’s couch. He was the oldest of 10 children.

Upon graduation from Alcee Fortier High School in New Orleans, he volunteered for service in the US Navy. As part of the basic training, one requirement was a grueling jump and swim that was needed to pass. Unfortunately, he did not know how to swim. As fate would have it, he was approached by an officer while in line, pulled out of line, and placed in Air Traffic Controlman training since there was a severe shortage of controlman. He never had to take that jump and swim AND probably remains the only Navy Seaman that could not swim. Over the next 6 years, he served on the USS Essex aircraft carrier as an Air Traffic Controlman. He saw the world while on the naval carrier. He was honorably discharged from the US Navy in 1963. He married his lifelong sweetheart, Dawn Decossas and began his career with Kirschman’s Furniture, where he retired after over 34 years of dedicated service. He loved Mardi Gras and he was a member and float lieutenant with the Krewe of Endymion for 27 years. His other loves included military history, gardening, the New Orleans Saints, the LSU Tigers, and a great party. He was always the life of any party and fondly reminisced about good friends and family, and great times.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon Henry Decossas Sr. and Catherine Davis Decossas; sisters Kathleen Decossas and Orele Decossas; and brother E.J. Decossas and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

He is survived by: his wife of 55 years, Dawn Decossas; sons – Vernon Henry “Butch” Decossas (Lisa) and Eric Decossas (Nikki); daughter Rochelle San Soucie (Paul); grandchildren – Miles San Soucie, Rhianna San Soucie, Madison Decossas and Olivia Decossas; brothers – James Decossas (Linda), Harry Decossas (Ann), and Kenneth Decossas; sisters – Lynnette Wahl (and the late Ronnie), Cheryl Roche (Joe), and Michele Malinda (Pat); sister-in-law Bonnie Decossas; and numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins, and friends and in-laws who we consider family.

The family would like to thank Amedisys Hospice Care and The Crossing at Clarity Hospice team for their gentle care for Rex during this time. We would also like to thank the countless doctors, nurses, fire department and EMS teams who were always ready to help.

A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10:00 am at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church, 1609 Carrollton Ave, Metairie, LA 70005. Out of respect for our guests and to comply with Church rules, please wear face masks. A celebration of his life will follow from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm at the Southern Yacht Club, 105 N. Roadway Street, New Orleans, LA 70124.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and/or Wounded Warrior Project. Arrangements have been entrusted to Church Funeral Services and Crematory.


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