Editor’s note: This is one of a continuing online series of profiles of the more than 12,000 Hoosiers who have died from COVID-19. The stories are from 12 Indiana newspapers, including The Republic, who collaborated to create the collection to highlight the tremendous loss that the pandemic has created. The series appears daily at therepublic.com.
Name: Lloyd “Lucky” Hall
Died: March 29, 2020
Lloyd “Lucky” Hall showed the way.
Whether it was life advice, business assistance or encouragement to pursue education, Lucky was there to steer people in the Black community on the right course.
“He liked mentoring and helping people to set up, with business or legal services or help with their taxes,” said his wife of 28 years, LaVreen Hall. “His friends were his friends for life, and he felt a responsibility to take care of them.”
Hall, 69, died March 29 from respiratory complications related to the coronavirus at Community North Hospital, said LaVreen. A father of six, Hall was laid to rest with military honors at Crown Hill Cemetery on April 2.
“Hi, I’m Lucky Hall,” was how Lloyd H. Hall, born in East Chicago, June 16, 1950, greeted people upon meeting them.
Lucky knew a lot of people. Through the years, he served on several boards, foundations and church groups, stayed in close contact with his college fraternity brothers.
“I asked many a time, when so many people stopped him, ‘How do you know that person?'” his daughter Sirrea Hayes, 35, said.
Hall graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1975 and earned his nickname shortly after when he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. There he formed a band, which played for troops at various bases, LaVreen said.
“He met a lot of famous people that way, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, and his friends started calling him Lucky for doing so,” LaVreen said
Hall was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 1984. Despite his musical acumen, he chose academic and leadership pursuits when he returned to Indiana.
He had studied accounting and business administration at IU and was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He went on to study information technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and leadership development at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
He was committed to convincing African-Americans to pursue continuing education — and his family set the example.
LaVreen, 54, got a master’s degrees in theology and mental health counseling. For a couple of years, starting in 2008, LaVreen, Sirrea and Lucky were students together at Lake-of-the-Woods College, even attending classes together.
“The professors got a kick out of it,” Sirrea Hayes said, “we competed to see who could get the best grade point average.”
For years, Hall had a home-based accountant and tax services business on the east side and northeast sides, spending much of that time getting financial affairs in order for friends and local entrepreneurs, said Gary Hobbs, a friend of 30 years.
“He did taxes for individuals and small businesses in the community,” said Hobbs. ”But he would go above and beyond what he needed to. He would educate people.”
Hobbs, who owns Sprowl Funeral Home with his wife, Lori, and calls Hall his mentor, was one of the beneficiaries.
“Every major decision I made was with his advice, to getting my MBA to advice on my marriage, to advice on the business,” he said. “He was the most selfless person I ever knew.”
Rebecca Bibbs, of New Castle, a friend of 30 years who lived with the Halls for short periods, said Hall was resourceful.
“’He was dabbler,” she said. “He was, for the most part, self-employed and had a wide range of interests and skills. He was the kind of guy who had a laptop and cell phone before everyone else. And he always had very wise advice.”
Hall continued his education advocacy as parliamentarian at the IUPUI graduate chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and as a board member of its non-profit arm, the Indianapolis Uplift Foundation.
The fraternity urges life-long participation of its members to promote manhood and scholarship, said Tyrelle Collins, past president of the Zeta Phi chapter and now a board member of the foundation.
In March 2020, Hall was the keynote speaker at the fraternity’s annual memorial for members who had recently died.
“He challenged us to check on each other,” Collins said, “each and every day.”
Despite his serious-minded academic pursuits, Hall knew how to have a good time, his wife and friends said.
He took the family on spur-of-the-moment road trips to Chicago to get Garrett’s popcorn on Michigan Avenue or stop at a favorite taco stand in East Chicago, Indiana.
And for six years, he hosted a Fourth of July party, attended by hundreds, on the downtown canal near the former Buggs Temple, which was the former home of an African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Lucky, for a time, was controller for the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, where, of course, he rubbed shoulders with some of the celebrities.
“I think Patti LaBelle invited him on stage when she was here (in 2015),” Seirra said. ”It just made me laugh.”
— Contributed by the Indianapolis Star