John Carlyle Winegardner Curry

Holt, Michigan

Everyone who was fortunate enough to know John Curry will be saddened to know that he died on August 13th, 2019. He was born on December 12, 1937, in Lansing, MI, to the late Volney and Helen Curry.

John was a gentleman in the classical definition of the word. John graduated from Michigan State University and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He served for two years with duty in Germany. Following his military service, John returned to academia, studying for his Ph.D. with Daniel Boorstin at the University of Chicago. John taught at Michigan State University, and at Merced College in Merced, California. He returned to Michigan to become the photo archivist for the state of Michigan. He worked there for many years.

John also studied classical organ with the distinguished organist Dr. Ross. After retirement, John spent most of his time at the family cottage on Long Lake, in Iosco County. He became the resident historian for Long Lake and Hale and spent many hours presenting his work to local groups and civic societies. John was a wonderful role model for his nephews, nieces, greatnephews and nieces and great-great-nephews and nieces.

John leaves behind a loving family. His adoring sister and brother-in-law, Janet (Curry) and Bruce Brown will miss him greatly, as will his nieces and nephews, Jeffery and Elizabeth (Brown) Weihl, Bruce Allan and Julia (Bach) Brown, Carroll and Kay (Kaminski) Brown, and Manning and Jennifer (Merrill) Brown. Also, John leaves behind eight great-nephews and nieces and five great-great-nephews and nieces.

A life-long bachelor, John devoted himself to his family. His extensive study of the genealogy and ancestry of the Curry and Winegardner families was a passion. We shall miss his kindness, generosity, intellect and his sense of fun. And everyone he knew will miss his smile that lit up the world.

Graveside interment and eulogy will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2019, at Felt Plains Cemetery, 3330 Meridian Road, Leslie, Michigan 49251. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Christ Community Church, 227 North Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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11 Messages to “John Carlyle Winegardner Curry

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Bruce and Janet Brown
August 17, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Our beloved brother will be with us forever.

Charles Wm. Hagler
August 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm

I had the privilege in my job at the Library of Michigan of interacting with John Curry while he was an archivist at the Archives of Michigan. He came across as a warm and cheerful person who was all ways ready to assist you in anyway he could. He had a wonderful sense of humor.
He was very knowledgeable and help me in doing my job in so many ways. I was very lucky to have met him and work with him. I wish his family my deepest sympathy at their loss, I know that he will be miss but not forgotten.

Alex, Michelle and Rocco Curling
August 18, 2019 at 6:37 pm

What a extraordinary man with so many life experiences. Rocco enjoyed coming over and spending time with him. He will be missed by many people that loved him.

Roger Clark
August 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm

My parents were members of First Baptist Church and sang in the choir. We left around 1960. I returned to what is now Christ Community Church in 2015. John is one of only a couple that are still around and remembered singing with my Dad.

Jim and Helen Person
August 20, 2019 at 12:13 pm

John was a gentleman in every way and always helpful and willing to assist in providing information and sound advice. We shared the same doctor and will enjoy each other in Heaven. He left a most positive impression at First Baptist of Lansing and with all those of us who knew him and appreciated him.

August 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm

I am the surviving spouse of William Allen Grewett, the son of Howard Maxwell and Roxina Merna Grewett who resided att 734 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, Michigan. It was my understanding that John Curry was my deceased husband’s cousin. We knew John personally and I am so sorry to learn of his death. He attended my husband’s funeral at South Church in Lansing. He truly was an extremely well educated, professional gentlemen whom my husband and I enjoyed being with when possible. I am sorry that I cannot attend the grave side service September 7 as I will be in Montana for my grandson’s wedding on September 7. Sincerely, JUDITH E. GREWETT

Judy Chamberlain
August 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm

John was a wonderful gentleman. I so enjoyed our conversations about church history and genealogy in general. His smiling and pleasant manner were always there no matter how he was feeling physically. I especially remember one Sunday when the pastor at First Baptist/Christ Community asked that we all gather in groups of three of four and pray together for our church and the families. I had the wonderful privilege of sharing prayer time with John and his uncle Thayer Winegardner. I will miss him.

Nancy L. (Kentner) Thane
August 20, 2019 at 10:14 pm

As a young adult, I had the privilege of working with John on a special presentation of the history of First Baptist Church (now Christ Community). He was patient, kind and calm when we had to dig through many photos and articles and church bulletins. It is a memory that I have always cherished. He was truly a Christian gentleman.

Saralee Howard
August 21, 2019 at 9:53 am

I knew John for several decades when we worked for the Michigan Historical Center. We had such amazing fun times together with photos and work projects. When Jim Schultz and I got married, he came to our wedding. Jim and I enjoyed his hospitality at Long Lake and we had so many wonderful picnics with Lee and Dot Barnett, Geneva Wiskemann, and Larry and Priscilla Massie. Even when he was ill, John would call. me on my birthday and I on his. We had lots of books in common and argued theology. He so loved his family, and my heart is with you. Saralee Howard

Marianne Spinnett
August 22, 2019 at 9:32 pm

It is with great sadness that I learned from John’s sister of his passing.We shared a love of books and were friends for fifty years.Whenever I came across an interesting book my first
thought was I have to call John.I will miss him and his gentle company.
Rest In Peace dear friend

Le Roy G. Barnett
September 5, 2019 at 1:09 pm

John was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. We were stationed together at Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. John had about a half-dozen enlisted men serving under him. One of these individuals (I believe it was a sergeant) was being rotated back to the States, and a “goodbye” party was being held for him one evening at a local bar. John, in uniform, briefly dropped by the gathering to congratulate the soldier on a job well done and wish him success in his new assignment. John did not sit down or have a drink; his entire visit probably took no more than a minute or so. The next day, John was called into his commander’s office and reprimanded for fraternizing with enlisted men. John, of course, was aware of this prohibition, but he was also a man skilled in the social graces. While he knew that he was technically in violation of military regulations, he also knew that proper etiquette dictated that he show up and say farewell to a member of his staff. He also knew that his people would be disappointed (maybe even offended) if their “boss” did not appear to say a few words of in favor of a departing member of the team. John chose to do the right thing from the standpoint of courtesy, even though that meant he would suffer adverse consequences as a result. This decision speaks volumes about the kind of quality person John was. It was an honor to have been the friend of such a fine gentleman.


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