Official Obituary of

Darrell La-Mar "DC" Cates II

February 21, 2024

Darrell "DC" Cates II Obituary

On June 8th, 1988 Darrell La-Mar Cates II was born to Darrell and Elizabeth Cates as the first of two children in Shreveport, Louisiana (Barksdale Air Force Base). As a military child, Darrell moved from Shreveport, Louisiana to the Azores, Portugal (Lajes Field) where his parents jokingly wondered if Darrell entered the country legally because while his mom was waiting in line at Customs, with their youngest son, Darius in a stroller, Darrell spotted his dad, who preceded the family to the Azores, in the waiting crowd and went straight over to him, bypassing the service counter, asking him, “Where have you been?”  While in the Azores, Darrell learned to enjoy eating Portuguese bread and continued to be a helper to his mother by caring for his little brother.  Darrell moved from the Azores to Crete, Greece (Iraklion Air Station). It was good that Darrell went through Customs there because he started Kindergarten at a Department of Defense (DoD) school. Darrell enjoyed eating souvlaki, lamb meat, bike riding, hiking, playing sports, swimming, and the Boy Scouts. After Greece, Darrell returned stateside and arrived in the Washington D. C. (Andrews Air Force Base and Bolling Air Force Base) area which he considered home because there, he spent most of his childhood. That’s also where he adopted his well-known nickname, DC (for the city and his initials). When he arrived, he initially attended a public school, but he was academically advanced so he attended a private school only to soon became a homeschooled child as his mother decided to quit her Civil Service job and nurture his educational talents.  Darrell was taught at home by his mother from elementary school through high school. While in the national capital region, Darrell would attend a college fair where he expressed an interest in attending Tuskegee University. At the time, Tuskegee University did not accept homeschoolers as students. Darrell’s mom sent Darrell’s academic record to Tuskegee University, at the request of the school’s representative. Darrell would go on to live in Glendale, Arizona (Luke Air Force Base) where he completed his senior year of high school, as a homeschooler, and was accepted into Tuskegee University as the institution’s first homeschooled student. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. Growing up, Darrell enjoyed playing sports, playing the piano, Civil Air Patrol, volunteering at Eastern Circuit (military judges offices), and he was Bolling Air Force Base’s 2005 Youth of the Year (each Air Force base, through its Youth Centers (Boys and Girls Clubs) selects from its membership one child based on exceptional character, citizenship, academic success, and community service to represent their military installation, traveling to Washington, DC to meet with federal lawmakers and tour the Nation’s Capital).  Darrell’s selflessness and concern for others started at an early age and has continued up to now.

Darrell accepted Christ at an early age at From the Heart Church Ministries and served in Children’s choir, Boy Scouts, and the Homeschool Ministries.  Darrell’s passion for helping others was solidified and expressed through mentoring, teaching, and coaching children. This passion was quickly displayed soon after gaining employment at Bellingrath Middle School. Consistent with his character, Darrell, quickly, unselfishly, and voluntarily assisted with coaching students and assisting with band students.

Above all else, Darrell loved being a dad to his sons, DeVaughn La-Mont Cates, Khalani La-Mon Cates, and Giovanni La-Mar Hall. Each of whom will sorely miss him.  Darrell is also survived by his parents, Drs. Darrell La-Mar and Elizabeth Denise Cates, his brother, Darius La-Von Cates, his grandmothers Carel Lee Cates (the late Ernest Cates) and Lillie Victoria Jackson (the late Sidney Ronald Jackson), and a host of uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. Although named after his dad, Darrell was truly one of a kind. He brought life and laughter to everyone and to every situation. He will be missed by all.

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March 1, 2024

1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Bell-Lee Funeral Home
2020 W Jeff Davis Ave
Montgomery, AL 36108

Funeral Service
March 2, 2024

11:00 AM
Dalraida Global Methodist Church
3817 Atlanta Highway
Montgomery, AL 36109

March 4, 2024

11:00 AM
Alabama Heritage Cemetery
10505 Atlanta Hwy
Montgomery, AL 36117


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