James (Jim) Curry
James (Jim) Curry, 85, of Edina, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 20, unexpectedly and peacefully with his beloved wife of 62 years, Barbara, at his side.
Jim will be deeply missed by his wife; his sons, Steve (Julie Zimmerman) and Paul (Shelley); grandchildren, Dan (Sarah), Matt, Sydney and Sean, and great-grandchild, Dylan McCarty; brother, Jack (Lillian); sisters-in-law, Jean Peetz and Eleanor Suttle; along with many nieces and nephews.
Jim was predeceased by his daughter, Jane; parents, Anthony Curry and Florence Johnson Curry; sister, Lois Kottke; brother, Dick; Uncle Mike and Aunt Helen Curry. His loss will also be felt by the innumerable friends he made everywhere he went. He had a huge presence.
Jim was born in Rogers, Minn., and grew up on a farm until he lived with his Uncle Mike and Aunt Helen Curry in Minneapolis to attend Edison High School in ninth grade. Living on his own his senior year in high school after his aunt became ill, he graduated valedictorian of his class of 300 in 1946 despite having to overcome a stutter.
Jim joined the Army after high school and was stationed in Tokyo after World War II. He became editor of the Pacific Stars and Stripes newspaper at age 19.
He then attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in 2 1/2 years. There, he met Barbara, the love of his life, at the Episcopal Canterbury Club and got married in 1950 in Hibbing, Minn.
He served in leadership roles in many organizations throughout his life, including Project Concern, Edina Rotary Club, Northwestern Bank Bloomington’s Community Board, the Edina High School Band Parents Group and the Friends of Lower Hay Lake Association.
His roles at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church included teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir. He had leadership roles in Stewardship, Outreach, Vestry (he was Senior Warden twice), and he originated their Bridge Builders program as well.
Jim started his career by selling insurance for MONY in 1951. Later, he and Ed Dunn became partners in Dunn and Curry. They merged 27 independent insurance agencies into their own and eventually developed the first office park in Minnesota — Pentagon Park in Edina. After selling Pentagon Office Park in 1969, they went on to develop land in Chanhassen and Eagan.
Jim had a huge love of life and family, friends, dinners out and cards.
He was always able to find the most positive spin in every encounter.
His memory and intelligence were incredible. He loved telling life stories to family and friends and was deeply interested in every person he came across, eager to learn the details of their lives and family. They became his new friends.
Jim and Barbara created a life for their family at their cabin on Lower Hay Lake in the Brainerd area of Minnesota in the 1960s. It grew to be a seasonal getaway and continues to be a place for family and friends to be together.
In lieu of flowers, Jim and Barbara requested that memorials be made to St. Stephen’s Church noting that it go toward the “The Jim and Barbara Curry Fund” (address below).
Visitation was Friday, Aug. 23, from 5-8 p.m. at Washburn-McReavy’s Edina Chapel, 5000 W. 50th St. and Highway 100, Edina, MN 55436. The funeral was Saturday, Aug. 24, at 10 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 4439 W. 50th St. (at Wooddale Avenue), Edina, MN 55424.