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February 20, 2018
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Death Notice of Brother Melvin G. McRae
Melvin G. McRae
1/4/2018
 


Melvin G. “Cap” McRae, (Ret BFD) age 87, of Brockton, died January 4, 2018 on Cape Cod surrounded by his family and friends. Cap was the loving husband of the late Barbara A. (Crocker) McRae for 52 years. Born and raised in Brockton, he was the son of the late Melvin J. and Doris W. (Silvia) McRae. He graduated from Brockton High School in 1948 and received his associates degree in Fire Science from Massasoit Community College. He was an Army Veteran and served in Germany during the Korean War. Cap was a member of the Brockton Fire Department for 32 years and retired as a Captain in 1988.

Before entering the Army, he attended the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He loved growing his beautiful geraniums and other flowers in his greenhouses. His hobbies also included woodworking. With his beloved wife Barbara, he enjoyed traveling all through the United States and Europe. Cap most enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and teaching them what life was all about. He treasured his time on Cape Cod and enjoyed the company of many friends at his local hangouts, especially his Thursday morning coffee group, with his fellow retired firefighters.

Cap is survived by his daughter, Barbara MacKinnon and her husband William and their children Billy MacKinnon, Courtney Voorhees and her husband George, and Michael MacKinnon, his son David and his wife Carla and their children Maggie and Matthew, and his daughter Patricia and her children Jennifer and Camella. He is also survived by a number of great grandchildren. Cap loved all animals but had a special place in his heart for his four legged best friends Patrick and Fitzgerald.

The family would like to take this time to thank the staff at Massachusetts General Hospital and the VNA/VNA Hospice of Cape Cod for the excellent and compassionate care given to our father and us.

Visiting hours will be held in the Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont Street (Rte 123) Brockton, Thursday, January 11, from 4-8pm. The funeral procession will gather at the funeral home Friday at 8am for a Funeral Mass in Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 9am. Burial will follow in Melrose Cemetery. Please consider donations in Caps name to the Strand Theater Memorial Fund, PO Box 868, Brockton, MA 02303 or the Brockton Firefighter Pipes and Drums, PO Box 4141, Brockton, MA 02303.
 
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Brockton school committee member, retired firefighter, dies at 69

By Marc Larocque

July 27. 2016 11:57AM

Brockton school committee member, retired firefighter, dies at 69

BROCKTON – Wayne McAllister, who was the first African-American to hold elected office in Brockton, is being remembered for his service as a city firefighter for more than 30 years and as a civic leader known for his frank, thoughtful stances on issues facing the community.
“The one thing I can take solace in, after his passing, is knowing how many people he’s touched and helped,” said Sara Keough, one of his daughters. “He had pride in the city. He loved it here. He was willing to do anything for the residents of the city. That was basically his passion.”
McAllister, who remained on the Brockton Planning Board and the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School Committee, died surrounded by family at his Brockton home on Tuesday after a long bout with cancer. He was 69.
Keough said her father, who often got other parents involved with community endeavors, such as forming a basketball team at the Arnone School, would never be afraid to speak his mind on issues of education, diversity and access to resources. When he addressed a problem, he researched it thoroughly and didn’t mince words when giving his opinion, said Keough and others.
“He said it like it is,” Keough said. “He had a way of saying things that was direct and to the point. I wouldn’t say it was necessarily rude. But it was frank. And often it was a little funny. That took the sting off, but you got his point, which I think is what made him likable. ... He always had a way with words.”
Former colleagues at the Brockton Fire Department recalled how McAllister taught them the trade. Archie Gormley, president of the Brockton Firefighters Local 144 union, was one of several people who referred to McAllister as a mentor.
“What he meant to the younger members was, when we came on, especially myself, he was looking out for us,” Gormley said. “He took us under his wing. He showed us what it was all about. He was able to make us understand how the fire department ran, and how we should act, and how we should behave, and what are our responsibilities.”
Gormley said the Brockton Fire Department mourns the death of McAllister, who is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, for which he received an honorable discharge. Gormley also thanked McAllister for his contributions to the firefighters union, as a former vice president for Local 144.
“It’s a loss for all us,” Gormley said. “I learned a lot from him, not only about being a firefighter, but about union representation ... to protect all our benefits and everything that firefighters fought for in the past. ... He was a great community activist.”
Gormley said too many firefighters are dying from cancer.
“People don’t realize this, but that’s the one disease that’ll take most of the firefighters' lives throughout their career,” he said. “I feel very deeply about his family and their loss. We’ll continue to help them in any way we can.”
McAllister was the first African-American elected to office in Brockton, as a representative for the city on the school committee for Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, said friend and fellow planning board member Ollie Spears. McAllister served as a Brockton representative on the regional school committee since 2002, and remained on the committee until his death.

As a member of the Brockton Planning Board, McAllister was among a group of public officials who were named personally as defendants in a $82.8 million lawsuit filed in 2012 by Brockton Power, after the company was blocked from building a gas-fired power plant in the city. McAllister was the only one from the group of defendants who remained in office when Brockton Power dismissed individual defendants named in the lawsuit.
McAllister was also active with the Brockton Chapter NAACP, and was a member of the mayor’s crime and drug task force. McAllister also ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 4 City Council seat in 2005.

Through it all, McAllister was a "straight shooter," Spears said.
"Wayne was a mentor to me, personally and politically," said Spears, who remains on the Brockton Planning Board. "Wayne told it how it is, didn't hold back and stood his ground. This is what I admired about him."
A wake is scheduled for this Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Russell and Pica Funeral Home, 165 Belmont St., in Brockton. A burial with U.S. military honors will be held on Monday at 11:30 a.m. at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

Brockton Firefighters Local 144
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