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Deacon Malvin Staff

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Funeral services for Deacon Malvin Staff, age 88, of Grambling will be held Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church of Grambling, with Reverend. Anthony Slack officiating. Interment will follow at Grambling Memorial Gardens under the direction of Kings Funeral Home in Ruston. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5 pm until 6:30 pm at Kings Funeral Home at 1511 West California Street in Ruston, Louisiana and will continue at 10 am until 11 am at Mount Zion Baptist Church after which the funeral services will begin. During the Tuesday evening visitation, time will be scheduled for final viewing or rites by the Mount Zion Baptist Church Deacon Board, the Prince Hall Masons, the American Legion, and the Grambling Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Deacon. Staff was born June 2, 1922 and passed away quietly in his sleep March 16, 2011. He is preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Ruth Lathan Staff, and his daughter-in law, Lt. Colonel (retired) Natalie Turner Staff.
A member of Mount Zion Baptist Church since his baptism there as a child, Deacon Staff served the church as treasurer under two church leaderships, that of Reverend N.S. Coleman and later Reverend George R. Hood. Deacon Staff was known as a man of few words; however when he spoke, he did so thoughtfully, articulately, and commandingly.
As a young man, Deacon Staff served his country as a member of the United States Army during World War II. His responsibilities included using a slide ruler to calculate coordinates for ammunition fire. As did other African American servicemen during that time, he returned from fighting abroad to fighting the domestic battle of segregation and discrimination. Therefore, it was more than an honor for him to cast his vote for the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office, President of the United States of America.
As a former Boy Scout leader, a retired coach, a teacher for more than 30 years, and a financial supporter of various academic, civic, and community organizations, Deacon Staff contributed to the educational and social development of innumerable young men and women, many of whom called, came to visit him, or spoke well of him throughout his lifetime.
Deacon Staff earned his bachelor’s degree from what is now Grambling State University and his master’s degree from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. He completed additional study at Prairie View University and Louisiana Tech University. He held a life membership in the Grambling State University Alumni Association.
A devoted father, he is survived by his three children, Dr. Barbara Staff and Mary Staff Arthur of Grambling, Louisiana and John Staff of Chesapeake, Virginia, Additional survivors include his sitter, Mrs. Carolyn Grisby, his home health nurse Mrs. Patricia West, a host of relatives, as well as many members of his neighborhood, church, and community.
Active Pallbearers are members of Grambling Alumni Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc. in which Deacon Staff was a Life Member. Honorary Pallbearers are members of the Mount Zion Baptist Church Deacon Board and the Grambling Chapter of the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association, as well as the American Legion and Prince Hall Masons, in which he also held Life Memberships.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mount Zion Baptist Church Scholarship Fund, the Grambling State University Scholarship Fund, the local or national Alzheimer’s Association or the local or national Heart Association.

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