ENCINO — Rene Dussaq, the oldest of 39 World War II veterans who in 1994 reenacted their invasion of German-held France 50 years earlier, has died. He was 85.
Dussaq succumbed to cancer June 5 at Encino Hospital, according to his wife of nearly 50 years, Charlotte Dussaq.
Born May 6, 1911, in Buenos Aires, Dussaq lived in Geneva, and moved to Cuba--his father was a Cuban diplomat--after college. During World War II, Dussaq was a major in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the elite 101st Airborne Division.
In 1994, veterans of the paratroop divisions that landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944, to launch the D-Day invasion staged a reenactment airdrop outside Saint-Mere-Eglise, the first French town liberated that night.
Dussaq caused a scare during the reenactment when strong winds blew his parachute miles away from the drop zone, out of sight of U.S. spotters in helicopters. He was later found in Saint-Mere-Eglise, drinking a glass of wine.
"Ironically, he died on the very same day that he did the jump [in 1994]," said his widow. The paratroopers began landing during the night before the June 6 invasion from the sea.
During his life, her husband had been a lecturer, stuntman, revolutionary, tennis champion and insurance salesman, she said. "He loved to challenge his body . . . he lived a wonderful life."
A private funeral service was held at the couple's second home in Bear Valley Springs.
In addition to his wife, Dussaq is survived by a son, Maurice Dussaq of Carson City, Nev.
Abdalian, Areck, 74, of Glendale, homemaker. Forest Lawn Mortuary, Glendale.
Booker, Della, 101, of Pacoima, homemaker. Rucker's Mortuary, Pacoima.
Bryant, Marilynn R., 68, of Granada Hills, homemaker. San Fernando Mortuary, San Fernando.
Beaupre, Constance C., 60, of West Hills, homemaker. Gates, Kingsley and Gates Mortuary, Canoga Park.
Edwards, Allen Lee, 33, of Van Nuys, carpet layer. Aftercare California Cremation and Burial Society, North Hollywood.
Greenspan, Ann, 89, of Studio City, homemaker. Aftercare California Cremation and Burial Society, North Hollywood.
Harley, Kathryn W., 88, of Woodland Hills, retired teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Gates, Kingsley and Gates Mortuary, Canoga Park.
Ramnathan, Thillaimuttu, 83, of Lancaster, homemaker. Halley-Olsen Funeral Chapel, Lancaster.
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