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May 14, 2021

Jerry D. Cruce of West Memphis Arkansas passed away at home in the early morning hours of April 26, 2021, surrounded by friends and family

Jerry was born June 6th, 1946 in Perry, Florida . Jerry trained greyhounds starting in the mid to late 70’s working for the Don Klink kennel in Miami, Florida & then with the Tom Farrell Kennel in Jacksonville, Florida. He spent the last 18 years of his training career with the Bussmann-Balakas kennel at Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis Arkansas where he is was affectionately known as Papa Smurf. He loved the greyhounds & enjoyed working with them. He enjoyed, the people he worked with & around in the greyhound business, including the haulers & especially the farmers, who raised the dogs. He met his future wife Mary on a blind date in April of 71. They married on 9-15-84 & were married until his passing.

He was predeceased by : his parents, John David Cruce and Christine Watson Cruce; his brother Lewis; and his parents-in-law, Eddie and Maria "Constance" Dicandia.

He is survived by : his wife Mary Dicandia Cruce; his sons, Bart Falcone, Phillip Falcone and Quinde Falcone Jr. (Yolanda); his grandchildren, Quinde Falcone III, Kim Falcone, Taylor Falcone and Allison Sosne; his great grandchild Nellie Frey Sosne; his goddaughter Chelsea Whitman; his siblings, Reba Cruce Rogers (Freddie), Joseph William Cruce (Derry) and Richard Harold Cruce (Carol); and his sister-in-law Bessie Cruce. He is also survived by nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, May 1st 2021 at 2:00 PM at the Burns Funeral Home

He was laid to rest at the Hendry Cemetery in Shady Grove, Florida

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