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William "Joe" Joseph McCurry

William Joseph "Joe" McCurry, a retired public health expert who was active in his church and local politics, died peacefully at his home in Abbeville July 31. He was 85.

Born in Abbeville, McCurry was the son of the late Lloyd B. McCurry and Lucille Whitten McCurry.

McCurry spent a 30-year career in the U.S. Public Health Service, later the Centers for Disease Control, as part of a vanguard group of public health advisors who provided assistance to state health departments on the control of communicable diseases, especially venereal disease and tuberculosis. He was part of an elite team known as the "Watsonians" named for CDC Deputy Director William Watson which successfully combated outbreaks of VD in the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War.

McCurry went on to top administrative posts in several states, concluding his career as a senior executive in San Francisco with responsibility for programs across the western states and the Pacific trust territories.

Prior to joining the federal civil service, McCurry served in China at the end of World War II as a U.S. Marine, First Division deployed to the coastal areas of China during efforts to repatriate Japanese citizens to the mainland and protect U.S. installations as civil war broke out between Chinese nationalists and communists.

Educated at Spartanburg Methodist College and Erskine College, McCurry loved music and sang in the choir at Abbeville Presbyterian Church where he was a member of the session, and an adult Sunday school teacher. He was also active in the Abbeville County Democratic Party and served on the state party's central committee and as an alternate delegate to the national party's convention in 2000.

He was an avid golfer and outdoorsman, who enjoyed working in the woods around his family's home off Island Ford Road in the Sharon District of Abbeville.

McCurry is survived by his mother, 103, of Abbeville; his beloved wife of 59 years Rosemary who resides at the home; two sisters, Alice Wheeler of Vienna, VA and Norma Mattison of Monticello, GA; two sons Michael D. McCurry of Kensington, MD and his wife Debra and their children William, Marjorie and Christopher; and David S. McCurry of Greenville and his wife Bonnie Mullinix and their children Scott, Schalon, and Kevin.

Services will be held Sunday, August 5 at 2:00 PM at Abbeville Presbyterian Church. The family will receive visitors Saturday August 4 from 6-8pm at the Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home in Abbeville, which is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to the Abbeville Presbyterian Church PO Box 733 Abbeville, SC 29620 (www.abbevillepres.org) and Hospice Care of the Piedmont 408 West Alexander Ave. Greenwood, SC 29646 (www.hospicepiedmont.org).


Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home
208 South Main Street
Abbeville, SC  29620
Saturday, August 4, 2012
6:00 until 8:00PM


Abbeville Presbyterian Church
301 N Main St
Abbeville, SC  29620
Sunday, August 5, 2012
2:00 PM

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William McCurry, please visit our flower store.


My thoughts and prayers are with the Mccurry family during this time of loss. God bless and comfort each of you during this difficult time. Judy Bond Miller

Judy Bond MIller Aug 11 2012 12:00 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in this time of sorrow.

Jim Mullinix and Dorothy Kerr Aug 5 2012 12:00 AM

I have known the McCurry family for years.I especially remember seeing Joe when I was passing thru Camp Stoneman, Ca on my way overseas in 1952. He took me to lunch. That was the last time I saw Joe. I don't get to Abbeville much anymore, but always planned to stop in for a visit, but never did.

Louis Williams Aug 4 2012 12:00 AM

Joe and I were Regional Directors for CDC. His experience, personality, and leadership qualities set a high standard for all of us that followed. Condolences to the McCurry family.

Jim Andersen Aug 4 2012 12:00 AM

Joe was such a wonderful man. A vital member of APC and a wonderful contributing voice to the choir. Rosemary, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.

Christopher Nash Aug 3 2012 12:00 AM

To Rosemary and the Mccurry Family, we are so sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you durning this time. Harold and Beverly Scroggs

Harold and Beverly Scroggs Aug 2 2012 12:00 AM

Dear Rosemary and Family,Our prayers are with you. We know you will miss Joe dearly along with so many others in the community.We will be thinking of your family at this time.

Katy & Gary Tilley Aug 1 2012 12:00 AM

sorry to hear about mr.mccurry passing ,my great -grandmother & grandamother was mccurry.my prayers ia with the family at this time.

darnell & john hughes Aug 1 2012 12:00 AM