Marvin McCurdy

Jasper Marvin McCurdy, Jr., age 81, died unexpectedly at the Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Shawnee, Kansas, on March 25, 2013.

Marvin McCurdy

Marvin was born on the family farm on Jan. 13, 1932, northwest of Bentonville, Ark. to Jasper Marvin McCurdy, Sr. and Eva Grace Hornsby McCurdy, the youngest of 9 children. He was raised during the throes of the Great Depression. Marv went to Valley View school near where he was born. He graduated from Bentonville High School in 1949, serving as homecoming king, captain of the football and basketball teams, and class president his senior year.

After high school, he attended NEO Community College in Miami, Okla., where he also played football. Marv then joined the Army in 1951 and spent two years in Korea during the Korean War. As a young officer, Marv was selected for the honor of representing the 5th Regimental Combat Team when 125,000 prisoners were exchanged just above the 38th Parallel in 1953; he received a letter of commendation for service during this repatriation of prisoners. Marv’s next assignment was a special blessing when he met the love of his life, Dolores Kern, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. They were married April 16, 1955, and began a lifetime devoted to each other and the family they would have together. Ron was born at Fort Leavenworth in 1956 and Rhonda was born in Germany in 1960 while they were stationed there.

Their life continued at posts in Fort Benning, Ga., Washington, DC, back to Germany, Norfolk, Va., and a tour in Vietnam that concluded with Marv serving as a representative of the U.S. Military Commander at the Paris Peace talks. After returning from that assignment, Marv was assigned back to the Pentagon in Military Intelligence with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and attended numerous leadership schools culminating with the prestigious Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. He also graduated with honors from the University of Maryland in 1962.

Marv retired from the Army as a full Colonel in 1975. He was awarded the Legion of Merit three times, the Bronze Star, and numerous other Meritorious Service and Commendation Awards.

In 1978, Marv and Dolores moved back to Leavenworth and began a second career serving their community. Marv served on the Lansing Planning and Zoning commission for 13 years and on the Mt. Calvary Cemetery board. He volunteered with the area Adult Education Center teaching several evenings each week for over 10 years. Marv and Dolores enjoyed K-State sports, bowling, square dancing, working with their church, giving back to their neighbors, and especially their children and, in time, grandchildren. Marv’s meticulous nature lent itself to rewarding hobbies creating stained glass, major home improvements, and refinishing antique furniture.

Marv never forgot his humble upbringing and combined a keen intellect, a driving work ethic, and strong personal ethics to find success in every endeavor he selected. In every opportunity throughout his illustrious life, he emerged as a leader among leaders.

Marv is survived by Dolores, his wife and partner of nearly 58 wonderful years. He is also survived by their son, Ron McCurdy (wife Kim) of Frederick, Md. and by daughter, Rhonda Grace White (husband Tony) of Pittsburg Kan.; nine grandchildren, (Caitlin McCurdy, Devon McCurdy, Kelsey McCurdy, Lara Ismert, Adam White, Heather Turner (Bryan), Jonathan Mahlandt, Grant Chaney, and Kate Chaney and two great-grandchildren (Bryson and Corbyn Turner). Two older sisters also survive, Gertrude Jewell of Hampton, Va. and Fay Wight of Bentonville, Ark., along with many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews, and close friends.

In addition to his parents, Marv was preceded in death by brothers, Albert McCurdy, Clyde McCurdy, and Ray McCurdy and sisters Nellie Heess, Dorothy Cress Sheldon, and Margaret Sawyer.

Visitation with the family will be Friday evening, March 29, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home in Leavenworth. The service will be Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. also at the funeral home. Internment will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society (LAWS) or the Leavenworth Assistance Center.