James M. Curry, 74

James M. Curry, VFW KY Past Department Commander, 74, died peacefully Jan. 31, 2021, at Jewish Hospital in Louisville following a brief illness. He was born Nov. 7, 1946, at Pine Mountain to the late John and Grace Curry.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his loving wife, Sheila Howard Curry, of Totz; daughters Andrea (Heather) Russell, New Smyrna Beach, Florida; Josh Howard (Tammy), of Berea; Mary Elizabeth Keith (Wayne), of Loyall; brothers David (Connie) Curry, of Evarts; Glen Curry, of Wallins; sisters Louise Whitman, of Evarts; Wanda Valdez (Ronald), of Baxter; grandchildren Brianna Hunter, of San Diego, California; Santos Flores, of Harlan; Cheyenne Howard, of Middlesboro; Will Howard, of Richmond; Anthony Flores, of Totz; Devin Keith, of Loyall; Khloe Keith, of Loyall; special friend, Bob Hendrickson, Brandenburg as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

James was preceded in death by sisters, Florence Baird, Jo Ann Mays, and Barbara Smith; brothers Bill Curry, Burt Allen Curry, and granddaughter Emma Keith.

Curry served in Vietnam as a U. S. Marine Corps Platoon Sergeant 18 months. He fought in 10 separate campaigns and received the Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Service medal, the Purple Heart and had 3 overseas service bars.

James joined the VFW in 1968 in Okinawa, Japan and was a lifetime member of Bell County Memorial Post 11139 in Middlesboro.

James was involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars almost all his life. He served numerous years as Post Commander of Bell County Memorial 11139, District 14 Commander, and held the highest position in the state as the Commander of the Department of Kentucky 2016-17 where he led under the theme “Protect and Respect Veterans” alongside VFW Auxiliary President Emma Tillman, Frankfort, KY. He was honored at the 2017 VFW National Convention with his All American white hat for 100%+ in membership. A bridge on US 119 at Totz, KY was dedicated in his honor. James received the 2016 Tri-City Chamber of Commerce Civic Organization Leadership Award.

James loved his family, his friends and the VFW. Being very community oriented, he started Bingo in Harlan County and moved it to Bell County where he was able to give back to the community donating to the Kentucky State Police, Trooper Island, Shop with a Cop, Bell County High School Scholarships, and the Department of KY VFW Scholarship fund. Every Christmas he donated over 350 food baskets to people all over Harlan and Bell County.

The family will receive friends at Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home, 114 S. 3rd Street in Harlan on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Funeral Services will be held at Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Frank Howard and Rev. Wayne Curry officiating. Music will be provided by Seth Carmical. Interment will be in Resthaven Cemetery in Keith, with military rites by the Harlan Honor Guard.

Pallbearers will be grandsons Santos, Will, Anthony, and Devin, as well as Robbie Curry, Jr., Marvin Baird, Billy Wayne Baird, and Xzavier Simmons.

Honorary Pallbearers will be members of District 14 VFW.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the VFW National Home, 3573 S. Waverly Road, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827.

COVID-19 restrictions of 50 percent of funeral home capacity, face masks and social distancing all set by the Governor of Kentucky shall be followed. The family asks that everyone attending please wear a face covering.

Please feel free to leave a condolence, memory, or photo at www.aljfh.com

Anderson Laws and Jones Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of James M. Curry.