David Greenup, Pontchartrain Park salesman, dies at 91

David McKinley Greenup, who helped hundreds of middle-class African Americans buy their own houses in Pontchartrain Park in post-World War II New Orleans, died July 30 at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve. He was 91.

Pontchartrain Park, which is part of Gentilly, was designed by white philanthropists to provide suburban-style housing to black New Orleanians in the 1950 and 1960s, when segregation was still the rule. Among the people who have lived there are former mayors Dutch and Marc Morial, the musician Terrence Blanchard, the actor Wendell Pierce and Lisa Jackson, an Environmental Protection Agency administrator in the Obama administration.

Mr. Greenup, who had already tried his hand at waiting tables and working in the post office, applied in 1954 to be Pontchartrain Park Homes’ sales supervisor. He was hired, and, his family said, found his vocation as a man who enjoyed showing houses and arranging financing for families to make those all-important purchases.

He liked the field so much that he formed D.M. Greenup Sons Inc. He kept selling property until he retired in 2010.

Mr. Greenup was a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, an organization of minority-owned real estate firms, and he helped organize its New Orleans chapter. He also joined the National Association of Realtors and the organization’s local board.

A Baton Rouge native, Mr. Greenup enlisted in the Army during World War II and served in the military police and was on a boxing team. After being honorably discharged as a private in 1944, he moved to New Orleans, where he graduated from McDonogh No. 35 High School.

In addition to receiving a diploma there, Mr. Greenup met Juanita Alma Young, whom he would marry in 1948. She died last year.

Mr. Greenup was a member of Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he served as a trustee.

Survivors include three sons, Rodney, Lidell and Rory Greenup, all of New Orleans; a sister, Dr. Virgie Hopkins of Atlanta; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be held Saturday (Aug. 12) at 11 a.m. at Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2321 Thalia St. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Lake Lawn Park Cemetery.

Gertrude Geddes Willis Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.