Landscapes 13

Earnest L. Curry

February 6, 1949 ~ March 23, 2020 (age 71)


Earnest L. Curry

A Tribute to a Servant of God


A Time to Be Born

The Book of Ecclesiastes declares in Chapter 3 “To everything there is a season,” including a time to be born and a time to die.  Earnest L. Curry, son of the late Woodrow Curry and Earnestine Marshall Curry, their middle child, was born on February 6, 1949 in Andalusia, Alabama and was a native of Mobile Alabama.  He transitioned from his earthly home to his heavenly home on Monday, March 23, 2020 at the age of 71 years old.  

A Time to Learn

Earnest attended and graduated from Mattie T. Blount High School known as the Leopards – Class of 1967.  He acquired his BS degree  in mathematics from Clark College (Clark Atlanta University) in 1971 and his MS degree in mathematics in 1974 from The Ohio State University.  He subsequently completed additional educational studies in Business Decision Making Programing at the University of Virginia in 1982. In 1987 Earnest also acquired training in the Executive Program of Professional Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

In 1974 he began his career as an IBM Programmer and set a “record-pace” by becoming a “first,” working as a 3rd Line Manager, which afforded him an unprecedented high morale-index-rating. Equally impressive was his performance as a Project Manager and under his tutelage many people were able to advance their careers at IBM.

 A Time to Serve Others

Earnest had a big heart for serving his community that took on new energies in 2011 when he retired from IBM.  From 2011 to 2017, he served as a member of  the Cape Fear Valley Health System Board of Trustees; serving as chairman of the board in 2016 and accomplishing “new heights” during his tenure.  He was a vocal champion for the expansion of technology and access for the care of all. Earnest was instrumental in the development of Hoke County’s largest hospital campus ~ the Cape Fear Valley Hoke Hospital. He advocated for the expansion of the Cape Fear Valley medical center, resulting in a 34-bed inpatient expansion. He championed the Board’s approval for the Cancer Center’s acquisition and implementation of the CyberKnife. Also, as the Chairman of the Cape Fear Valley Quality Committee from 2016 through 2017, Earnest focused on performance improvement which resulted in Cape Fear Valley’s first 5-star recognition which was published in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals Journal.  

Earnest was appointed to serve on the Fayetteville State University Foundation Board of Directors in 2009. As an active member for 11 years, he served as Vice Chair and was later nominated to serve as Chair in 2015.  During his tenure, he achieved “solid footing” for the Foundation and was instrumental in the 25 Million Dollar Capital Campaign which was designated for students’ scholarships. He also served on Fayetteville State University’s School of Business Advisory Board, as well as the university’s Sesquicentennial Committee. Earnest committed much of his time to the Board of Habitat for Humanity, and for nearly 20 years he worked with the “Family Matters Committee” where he initiated the approval of recommendations to the board for Future Homeowners. In 1984 Earnest served on the Advisory Committee for Computer Science Curriculum for Durham Technical Institute. In 1985 he provided voluntary data processing services for Shaw University and provided the same service for North Carolina Central University in 1986.

Earnest was a Lifetime member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; he was an NAACP Silver Life Member and an Associate member of the National Council of Negro Women ~ Fayetteville Area Section.  Earnest enjoyed working to improve the lives of young people and  through his service with the Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg’s chapter of the Alumni Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of Fayetteville, N.C., the Tampa Bay Male Club in Florida, and the Teen’s Involvement [President]  in Fayetteville -- many young people benefited from his expertise.   Earnest was a mentor to many youth, family members, his friends and the professional community. You could always see Earnest sporting the caps and shirts that represented the various organizations that he so willingly supported.   

 A Time for Fun

Earnest was an expert on Animal Kingdom, his most favored television show. As an expert politician, he also enjoyed MSNBC and Politics Nation. For his Health Plex and lunch buddies, Earnest became the “go-to-political commentator” to avoid exercising. With his new Silver Sneakers’ group, he showered them with humor who laughed heartily, but told him to “keep it moving.” Earnest’s favorite music was an Especially Designed Smooth Jazz Mix – recorded just for him -- by his dear Tampa IBMer. He enjoyed deep-sea fishing, the CIAA, Baseball games, lots of cruising and traveling in US and abroad.  Earnest was oh so slow to anger, full of joy, fun and often interjected frequent teasers--bringing much laughter and delight when we all needed it. During a hospital stay at Cape Fear, he told the board members that he had to go undercover to be sure that they were doing their job. While touring the beautiful marble halls of Vatican City he whispered, “the termites sure have a hard time here” ~ nobody, but my Earnest had such wit.

Very often people would ask me -- “How’s the Big Man” or “How’s my Boyfriend.” He enjoyed eating his mom’s blackberry cobbler, his mother-in-law’s peach cobbler, and my sweet potato pie and coconut cake.

A Time for Marriage

With a big heart felt smile, he often said to me” I said I loved you when we married and nothing has changed”. How could I respond to his wit, but just smile.  August 19, 1972 will always remain very special to me. While we began with little, much, much love continued to blossom over 47 years as we honored our marriage.  My Loving college Sweetheart epitomized all I could have ever desired from a husband. He was loving, caring, supportive, and a wonderful provider for me and our family; there was “never had a dull moment,” always much laughter.  Yearly, he planned great vacations for the two of us, our kids and grandchildren. “Your children and grandchildren are greatly indebted to you for your love, devotion, commitment and care of them.”  I so enjoyed the many very special anniversary travels and dinners you planned for us; such a big, big generous heart, a gentle giant, a loving patient man. Quite unselfishly, you supported me in my career journey. You lifted my spirits when I doubted myself and made me realize how quietly you had observed my endeavors and was able to erase any doubts I may have had. We had a great and special marriage through the good and challenging times. You indeed, lived out the credence found in 1st Corinthians 13.  So sad that you had to leave me, us. Yes, you know me, for the moment I’m still having a conversation with God about your untimely departure. I know you’re in a better place – no more pain or worries, just an abundance of joy and peace. I will miss you deeply until I join you again. In the meanwhile, I look forward during my quiet times to continue having our “101 Couple Conversation Starters” and guessing your responses to my many questions. I also look forward to sharing so much during those intimate occasions.

A Time for Serving God

Earnest was a faithful member of Haymount Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and he was a committed Elder and a member of the Session.  He facilitated many church projects, including remodeling of the sanctuary choir, parking lot lighting, updating the Internet, establishing financial processes and much more. He served as a member of the Presbyterian Men’s Organizations and worked diligently with their activities which included the Men’s Day Program, fish fries and other fundraisers. He attended bible study, worked with Vacation Bible School, delivered the children’s message and also became a worship leader. One of Earnest’s favorite biblical scriptures is Matthew 7:12 –which reminds us: In everything-- then, do unto others as you would have them do to you.  He always said don’t do things expecting anything in return. He was a great neighbor. He departed this earth still giving of himself as acknowledged by donating miracles to others for a better life.

A Time to Remember

He leaves to cherish his memories; his loving wife Dr. Blanche Radford-Curry. He survived by his brother Woodrow Curry, Jr. (Palmer) of Mobile, Alabama; his sister, Shirley Curry of Atlanta, Georgia; two sisters-in-laws, Oree Woods (Walter) and Rosemerita Stephens of Atlanta, Georgia; one brother-in-law, Wayne Radford of Atlanta, Georgia; his son, Earnest Langston of Fayetteville, NC; his daughter, Evette Saramarie of Fayetteville, North Carolina; five grandchildren, Danavan, Z’onte, Za’niyah, Tatianna, and Shalaiya of Fayetteville, North Carolina and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who loved him dearly. Earnest was preceded in death by his parents, Woodrow Curry and Earnestine Marshall Curry.

In the words of Shakespeare, “Life is a stage on which every man plays a part”, and you, our dearest Earnest, have played your part very well. Congratulations!!  All of us, family and friends will miss you.  “God be with you till we meet again.”


A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.For the expected date please access the following website-


In lieu of flowers, your contribution to the FSU Foundation in memory of Earnest L. Curry would be greatly appreciated. You may mail your check to: FSU Foundation, 1200 Murchinson Road, Fayetteville, NC 28301 or you can make your contribution online at: and select “In Loving Memory of Earnest L. Curry”.

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