06/06/08 — RUSSELL C. GURLEY

View Archive



Sept. 16, 1920-June 3, 2008

PIKEVILLE -- Russell Crawford Gurley, 87, left this earthly life in the early evening of Tuesday, June 3, 2008, at Mary Gran Nursing Center in Clinton, and went to meet his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

A service to celebrate the life of Russell will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Princeton Baptist Church with the Rev. Dwayne Batten and the Rev. Don Price officiating. Burial will follow in Wayne Memorial Park.

Russell was born in Wayne County Sept. 16, 1920, to the late Andrew Daniel Gurley and Lizzie Deans Gurley.

He established Gurley Dairy in the Pikeville Community in 1943 and along with his brother, Molton, continued the dairy and farming operation into the early 60s when the onset of arthritis forced his early retirement from farming.

While farming and operating the dairy, Russell was also a member of the board of directors of the Wayne Dairy Cooperative Association. He was a volunteer fireman for 20 years having been a member of the Nahunta Fire Department, where he served as the secretary and later was one of the founding members of the Little River Fire Department.

Although he could not continue the rigors of farming, Russell continued to be active in his community. He was a long-time member of Princeton Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, and loved to sing in the Brotherhood Choir.

Russell loved the land and the farm life, and was long a steward of resource conservation. He was a member of the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District committee for 40 years, serving as chairman for a number of years. He was a 50-year member of the Nahunta Grange and was also a member of both the state and national Granges.

Russell served the Junior Order of Mechanics as recording secretary for the Pinkney Council and also served on the ASC Committee for the Buck Swamp Township. He was a member and past president of the Wayne County Forestry Club and a charter member of the 4-H Neighborhood Leaders Organization.

"Mr. Russell," as he was fondly known by many in the Nahunta community, is remembered for his love of life, family and friends, his desire to help those in need and his sly grin, infectious laugh and sense of humor. He was a compassionate man, who never met a stranger.

As a young man, he loved to play baseball, and was a life-long fan of the game, who after his playing days enjoyed coaching the next generation. His hobbies included gardening, traveling with his friends, participating in church activities and listening to and telling jokes and stories.

Russell is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mozelle Ricks Gurley; his son, Claude Daniel "Dan" Gurley and wife, Lucinda (Cindy) Parnell Gurley, of Clinton; his grandson, Adam Daniel Gurley of Scottsdale, Ariz.; his sister, Elizabeth Gurley Overman of Pikeville; sister-in-law, Doris H. Gurley of New Bern; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Molton Gardner Gurley.

Flowers are welcome or memorials may be made to Princeton Baptist Church, 211 Pearl St., Princeton, N.C., 27569.

The family will receive friends Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home.


Published in Obituaries on June 6, 2008 1:52 PM