In memory of
Mike John Curry
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In memory of
Mike John Curry
Mike John Curry, vivid story teller, devoted family man, champion of children and the under served, veteran of multiple military branches, a patriot who lived in the Arena of life, died on Thursday, January 21, 2021. His remarkable journey of life changed the course of rivers and affected the tides greater than the moon itself. He fought in the Arena both literally and figuratively. If the measure of any man reflects the positive affect on people, he would set the standard for all men to be measured. Mike was born in San Diego, California on January 27, 1942, to Bev and John Curry, the oldest of three boys. He enjoyed football, wrestling and making mischief, ensuring his younger brother Gary's involvement while keeping his parents on their toes during family camping trips. Camping became an endeavor he extended to his children. He graduated high school and went on to attend college at San Diego State University. Mike felt the call to serve his country in 1st Marine RECON Battalion; his second love, and fought in the jungles of Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device. The friendships and brotherhood of the Marines lasted a lifetime and beyond, though it wasn't his first experience in the military. He first served in the California National Guard, most notably during the Watts Riots, an experience that shaped his world view and his future. After a break in his Marine Corp service he felt compelled to continue to serve his country by joining the Alabama National Guard, specifically in the 20th Special Forces. He was able to earn his Airborne wings at the young age of 49, at the time, the second oldest in the school's history. Mike always fondly talked about his military experience and how it shaped the person he became in life, in the Arena. Between his military stints, he started his educational career through the Peace Corps. He started out teaching history and English in Mandeville, Jamaica meeting an eclectic group of individuals from around the world. Through these connections, he joined a rugby club eventually leading him to compete with the Jamaican National Rugby Team. While in Jamaica he became a world traveler. His travels included Central America, parts of South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Eventually he left Jamaica to complete his master's degree at the University of Western Carolina and Doctorate at the University of Alabama where he received the outstanding doctoral student award. Accepting a job as Assistant Principal in Birmingham City Schools, he began a 31-year career as an administrator in the school system. He spent 2 years as a Vice Principal and 15 years as Principal at LM Smith Middle School, finishing his career at Gibson Elementary School. His passion for learning was reflected in his desire to see his students and staff succeed. He continued his call to champion children by serving as a court appointed special advocate after his retirement. His desire to serve reflected his wish to provide a safe space for those with the most uncertainty. Mike loved his family. He adored his wife, Freda. She was his "Foxy" lady. He had a quiet presence as a leader and father. He was always present and involved. He excelled at teasing his family with his wicked sense of humor, planning family memories and experiences and attending as many of his children's/grandchildren's sport practices and games as he could. His love of traditions was extraordinary. Driving to pick out and cut his own Christmas tree every year (until his teenage kids complained loudly and obnoxiously), waiting to open his presents until all Christmas presents were opened (much to his family's chagrin), fried rice with raisins (no one liked) and the family picture that he was never in because he was behind the lens. He was the one to never forget to capture a family gathering with a picture – his family will forever cherish these memories. Mike valued memories and experiences. He captured his own by writing a memoir of his life in the book, In the Arena. Mike had a distinct ability to speak his mind in the most affectionately awkward way. There wasn't a stranger to walk by that he didn't ponder on what their story might be. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Bev and John Curry, and his brother Gary. He is survived by his wife, Freda Curry, his brother Paul (Judy), his two children Rachel (Lance), Adam (Christy) and his beloved dog Cassie. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Alexa, Abby, Jacob and Adelynn. There will be a private burial at the Alabama National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date due to COVID. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Birmingham Education Foundation, Two by Two Rescue or the Semper Fi Fund. Mike John Curry served this nation his entire life, we are eternally grateful for his dedication and sacrifice. Rest easy warrior of the Arena.
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Services Provided By
Ridout's Valley Chapel
1800 Oxmoor Road
Homewood, AL 35209
In memory of
Mike John Curry
Mike John Curry, vivid story teller, devoted family man, champion of children and the under served, veteran of multiple military branches, a patriot who lived in the Arena of life, died on Thursday, January 21, 2021. His remarkable journey of life changed the course of rivers and affected the tides greater than the moon itself. He fought in the Arena both literally and figuratively. If the measure of any man reflects the positive affect on people, he would set the standard for all men to be measured. Mike was born in San Diego, California on January 27, 1942, to Bev and John Curry, the oldest of three boys. He enjoyed football, wrestling and making mischief, ensuring his younger brother Gary's involvement while keeping his parents on their toes during family camping trips. Camping became an endeavor he extended to his children. He graduated high school and went on to attend college at San Diego State University. Mike felt the call to serve his country in 1st Marine RECON Battalion; his second love, and fought in the jungles of Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device. The friendships and brotherhood of the Marines lasted a lifetime and beyond, though it wasn't his first experience in the military. He first served in the California National Guard, most notably during the Watts Riots, an experience that shaped his world view and his future. After a break in his Marine Corp service he felt compelled to continue to serve his country by joining the Alabama National Guard, specifically in the 20th Special Forces. He was able to earn his Airborne wings at the young age of 49, at the time, the second oldest in the school's history. Mike always fondly talked about his military experience and how it shaped the person he became in life, in the Arena. Between his military stints, he started his educational career through the Peace Corps. He started out teaching history and English in Mandeville, Jamaica meeting an eclectic group of individuals from around the world. Through these connections, he joined a rugby club eventually leading him to compete with the Jamaican National Rugby Team. While in Jamaica he became a world traveler. His travels included Central America, parts of South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Eventually he left Jamaica to complete his master's degree at the University of Western Carolina and Doctorate at the University of Alabama where he received the outstanding doctoral student award. Accepting a job as Assistant Principal in Birmingham City Schools, he began a 31-year career as an administrator in the school system. He spent 2 years as a Vice Principal and 15 years as Principal at LM Smith Middle School, finishing his career at Gibson Elementary School. His passion for learning was reflected in his desire to see his students and staff succeed. He continued his call to champion children by serving as a court appointed special advocate after his retirement. His desire to serve reflected his wish to provide a safe space for those with the most uncertainty. Mike loved his family. He adored his wife, Freda. She was his "Foxy" lady. He had a quiet presence as a leader and father. He was always present and involved. He excelled at teasing his family with his wicked sense of humor, planning family memories and experiences and attending as many of his children's/grandchildren's sport practices and games as he could. His love of traditions was extraordinary. Driving to pick out and cut his own Christmas tree every year (until his teenage kids complained loudly and obnoxiously), waiting to open his presents until all Christmas presents were opened (much to his family's chagrin), fried rice with raisins (no one liked) and the family picture that he was never in because he was behind the lens. He was the one to never forget to capture a family gathering with a picture – his family will forever cherish these memories. Mike valued memories and experiences. He captured his own by writing a memoir of his life in the book, In the Arena. Mike had a distinct ability to speak his mind in the most affectionately awkward way. There wasn't a stranger to walk by that he didn't ponder on what their story might be. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Bev and John Curry, and his brother Gary. He is survived by his wife, Freda Curry, his brother Paul (Judy), his two children Rachel (Lance), Adam (Christy) and his beloved dog Cassie. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Alexa, Abby, Jacob and Adelynn. There will be a private burial at the Alabama National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date due to COVID. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Birmingham Education Foundation, Two by Two Rescue or the Semper Fi Fund. Mike John Curry served this nation his entire life, we are eternally grateful for his dedication and sacrifice. Rest easy warrior of the Arena.
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
Ridout's Valley Chapel
1800 Oxmoor Road
Homewood, AL 35209
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