Woman fulfills war veteran's dying wish for a proper burial

Clarence DeCarlo Murchison (Photo courtesy of Dolores Young)

Clarence DeCarlo Murchison has a smile that would light up any TV screen.

"He was a little feisty!," says Dolores Young. Young says her good friend remained that way until he fell ill.

This Washington, D.C. Army war veteran died on February 5… He was 85. With no surviving relatives, Young was given power of attorney.

"I just couldn't ignore it. I had to do something," says Young.

There was one problem. "I just didn't have the money, or where I was going to get it from."

Young contacted Earline Budd with HIPS, an advocacy group that helps people in need.

"She was crying and she said he deserved to have more than what was going to happen to him which was being disposed of by the city," says Budd.

Budd immediately recognized that smile from 20 years ago.

"Being transgender and out there and him being open and being gay we crossed paths. I named him Dr. DeCarlo and I said I got to do something for this guy."

Budd setup a GoFundMe page and discovered her old friend was also a trailblazer.

"DeCarlo is right here and he was a part of this dance troop who is said to have broken the color barrier in 1952 at the Cotton Club in New York," says Budd.

In 12 days they had all the money they needed. Instead of a cremation, Murchison will have the open casket service Young promised him.

She's sure he's smiling again. "I'm just pleased with everything," says Young.

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