George Woodrow (Butch) Gurley,Jr, 72, passed away on September 28, 2016 at his home in Roanoke Rapids, surrounded by loving family following a lengthy battle with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare degenerative brain and nervous system disorder.
He was born in Hobbs, NM to the late George Woodrow Gurley, Sr. and May Belle Braswell Gurley. George grew up in Roanoke Rapids, NC. He graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School in 1962, and later attended Chowan College and Gaston Tech in Gastonia, NC. He joined the US Air Force in 1966 and was honorably discharged in 1970, achieving the rank of Sergeant. After employment with the City of Roanoke Rapids and Dominion NC Power, he returned to work with the City of Roanoke Rapids, where he retired as Director of Planning & Development in 2009.
George married Barbara Cook in 1973 and remained her devoted husband for 43 years. He attended Lebanon United Methodist Church and was a former member of the Roanoke Rapids Planning Board. He loved time spent with family, watching sports with his sons, family cookouts, trips to the beach and soaking up the sun. His appreciation for a wide variety of music genres, especially hard rock and heavy metal, provided George considerable comfort during his confined illness.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara; his sons, George W. (Buster) Gurley, of the home and James Kristopher (Kris) Gurley of Knightdale, NC; his sister, Sandra G. Shell (Tony) of Glen Allen, VA; his niece, Tracy S. Henderson (Matt) of Mechanicsville, VA; his nephew, T.J. Shell of Richmond, VA; his great-nieces, Meagan and Katelyn Henderson of Mechanicsville, VA, and numerous devoted and caring cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
A funeral service will be held at Wrenn, Clarke & Hagan Funeral Home, 1015 W. 5th St., Roanoke Rapids, NC at 11:00 AM, Monday, October 3rd. Burial will immediately follow at Cedarwood Cemetery. The Reverend Robert E. (Bob) Clyde will officiate.
A visitation will also be held on Sunday, October 2nd, 3:00-5:00 PM at the funeral home. At other times, the family will greet friends and relatives at the home. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Lebanon United Methodist Church, c/o Connie Hargrave, 1273 Macon Price Rd, Garysburg, NC 27831 and Angel’s Closet, c/o Gilbert Portela, 228 Huntingridge Road, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870.
Special thanks to Community Home Care & Hospice staff and dedicated caregiver, Percell Daniel, whose help and support made it possible for George’s illness to be managed in the home, with dignity, surrounded by love.
Death provides many of us with a one-time chance to make a valuable gift to humanity. George chose to make an anatomical donation, the time-of-death gift of organs and tissues for medical research and education to the Veterans Administration Biorepository Brain Bank.
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