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16 April 2009 @ 09:45 am
Les Semaines April 16, 2009: Howard L. Gurley  

My father-in-law died yesterday afternoon. I have no words, but his obituary, written by Jim and his sisters is

Howard Leroy Gurley Jr., born in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 17, 1919, to Howard Gurley Sr. and Florence Marie (née Briscoe), died peacefully at the Hospice of Rockingham County in Wentworth, North Carolina, on April 15th.

He was the loving husband for forty years to Marie Eleanor (née Svec) Gurley (deceased) and father to six children from his first marriage: Howard Richard Gurley (Baltimore), Donald Gurley and wife Alice (Raleigh, NC), MaryJo Davis (Greensboro) and her husband Gary (deceased), Anne Sanner (Lutherville, MD), Patricia Ransone and her husband Larry (Madison, NC), and James Gurley and his wife Neile Graham (Seattle, WA); predeceased by two infant sons; brother to Doris Poist (deceased); grandfather to nine wonderful grandchildren and one great grandson.

Following the 1982 death of his first wife, Howard remarried, to Virginia (Horsey) Gurley in 1990 who was an integral part of his family's life; Howard also became stepfather to Brooks Horsey (deceased).

In 1927 Howard moved with his family to Brooklyn Park in Anne Arundel County, MD, where he graduated from Glen Burnie High School. He spent his summers at "the shore" property owned by relatives at Bodkin Creek, Gibson Island, crabbing and fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.

Drafted shortly before the onset of World War II, Howard served his country as a decorated fighter pilot in action over France, Germany and Austria, flying P-47s and completing 141 missions. One of his missions included D-Day Plus 1. Captain Gurley had the distinction of being the only member of his squadron to take part in both its first and last missions. In recent years he was an active member of the 365th Fighter Squadron veterans group, attending reunions where he kept up close friendships with his former comrades and delighted in sharing his war stories with a younger generation.

Returning from his military services Howard resumed his job with Western Electric in Baltimore, where he had worked as an accounting clerk, and during a forty-two-year career at the company he rose to managerial positions in the internal auditing department. As part of his job Howard relocated with his growing family from Baltimore to Winston-Salem, NC, Wyomissing, PA, Morristown, NJ, Boxford, MA, and, shortly before his retirement in 1981, finally to Greensboro, NC, where he resided until his recent illness.

Always generous and supportive, during his 89 years Howard was a constant inspiration to both his immediate and extended family as well as to his many friends. He died proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild, by whom he will be dearly missed.

A private family viewing will be held at Colonial Funeral Home in Madison, followed by a graveside memorial at Westminster Gardens in Greensboro. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Tennessee Museum of Aviation in Sevierville, TN, and to Combat Airmen Joshuas Troops, c/o Pat Ransone, 647 Dan Valley Rd, Madison, NC, 27025.

The family would like to express heart-felt appreciation to our friends in our time of need, and to thank the staff of Hospice of Rockingham County for their devotion and caring.
Tithenaitithenai on April 16th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, Neile. Please accept my condolences.
Kate Schaeferkate_schaefer on April 16th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Neile, my condolences to you and Jim. What a beautiful obituary, full of love and life.
Stephanie Burgis: vienna fairystephanieburgis on April 16th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss. :hugs:
Chris Furst: detective clowntheclownhunt on April 16th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law, Neile. My heart goes out to you and Jim.
rcloenen_ruizrcloenen_ruiz on April 16th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Condolences, Neile. It sounds like he was a wonderful man. I'm sorry for your loss.
Ada Milenkovic Brown: Ada McGrath of The Pianoaccordingto_ada on April 16th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Please accept my deepest sympathy, Neile, to you and Jim.
walter_gurley on April 16th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Sorry to here,my dad told me this morning.Hav'nt seen any of my cousin's in around 30 years.
Still think about all tho.Please tell Rick,Donny,Annie,Mary jo,Jimmy and Patty I said sorry for there loss.Give them my e-mail so we can stay in touch.It's

Neile Grahamneile on April 17th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: neile
Hi, Walt--great to hear from you, but sorry that it's under these circumstances. I forwarded your message to Jim, who has everyone's email addresses--I think.
A.kaiweilau on April 16th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and yours.
marzipan pigmarzipan_pig on April 16th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I love his smile in that pic!

Thank you for posting about him and condolences to you, Jim, and the cats.
Oktober_Ghostoktober_ghost on April 17th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
I'm very sorry for your loss. From reading the obituary, I'm sure your father-in-law will be well-remembered and loved.
Neile Grahamneile on April 17th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks, everyone. Your sympathies are greatly appreciated.
Steve Faggnightwol on April 17th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
All our sympathy to you all. Beautiful, moving obit.
Accident of Hopeseraph76 on April 17th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. Deepest condolences to you and your family. My thoughts are with you in your time of grief.
(Anonymous) on April 18th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
Neile Please give Jim our deepest saympathy. Howard was very close to our family. Last time I remember Jim he was a teenager and came to the house with all the family. We have many fond and happy memories of Howard as every time he came to town he called the family and came to see Mom and Dad and of course we were always there too. We also have many memories of Howard growing up and as an adult being at the shore. Please stay in touch as now it is only Walt and I left in that generation. Our e-mail address cjtruitt@verizon.net
Love to both you and Jim Marie and Charles