East Texas Legend Dies At Age 83 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/4/06-Troup

East Texas Legend Dies At Age 83

He's an East Texas legend known for his boxing skills and for helping children. Edward A. Vascocu, better known as Lucky, died Friday at the age of 83. Lucky was recognized worldwide in amateur boxing. Here in East Texas he did many things like serve as Troup Mayor, a City Councilman and Troup Municipal Judge, just to name a few. Today, his family and friends celebrated his life at his funeral in Troup.

Lucky loved to box. He began boxing when he was just 8-years-old and continued to box in the U.S. Navy, which he served in for six years. Lucky used his passion for the sport to help children.

"He would take a kid that was in trouble and change that kids life and kids perspective in life," said Reverend Dr. Mike Daniels of First United Methodist Church. "Lucky could see a champ in every kid." In the early 1980's Lucky formed the Troup Boxing Association, which resulted in the construction of the Byron Payton Gym. It was there Lucky trained the youth in the area and touched the lives of so many children. Larry Nicholson who was a bearer today was one of them..

"He was like a father to me," said Larry Nicholson, a former boxing student. "He sent me off to college to get an education as well as better my boxing skills, and I was lucky enough to become the number two boxer in the world." Because of talent like Nicholson and many other young boxers, Lucky became well known throughout the world.

"We've had calls from Mike Tyson's camp, Oscar De-Lahoya's camp," said Terry Davis, Lucky's friend. "George Foreman's people have called us. We've had calls from every level of boxing around the world." Here in East Texas, a street was named after him. Lucky lived a life of serving. A life his friends say everyone can learn from.

Friends say they call him Lucky because as a kid he played cards with adults and would always win. During his almost 60 years in East Texas, he also coached the Troup swim team, pee wee football and was a boy scout master.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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