Jerry Curry and his wife, Charlotte, have owned Curry Funeral Home since 2006. A licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1981, Jerry always wanted to own a funeral home and thought Pawnee was the perfect place. He bought the funeral home from the previous owner, Ed Roarick.
Jerry knew from an early age that the funeral profession was the career path he wanted to pursue.
“As a junior at Griffin High School in Springfield, I took an anatomy class, as well as one on death and dying. At the same time, I started working at Kirlin, Egan and Butler Funeral Home in Springfield. Those classes, combined with working at a funeral home, sparked my interest in the funeral profession,” Jerry said.
After high school, he attended Lincoln Land Community College and Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. As a student at Worsham, Jerry also worked at two Chicago funeral homes and gained experience working at the Cook County morgue. While working at the Chicago funeral homes, Jerry said they would handle approximately 20 funerals a day, one after another. He found that the fast pace didn’t allow the staff much time to get to know the families they were serving.
After mortuary school, Jerry returned to Springfield and worked again at Butler’s in Springfield as a funeral director and embalmer until 1988. He then worked at Bisch & Sons Funeral Home until 2000. During his time at Bisch’s, he said he had the opportunity to work directly with families to serve them during their time of need. He considers it a privilege to come alongside families and help them through the grieving process.
Jerry briefly left the funeral service to become the executive director of the Mary Bryant Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Springfield, a position he still holds today. However, when he was presented with the opportunity to buy the funeral home in Pawnee, he felt called to serve families in the Pawnee community and surrounding areas and return to a profession he loved.
“I enjoy working with families to help them choose the way they want to say goodbye to their loved ones. I listen to their requests and do my best to honor their wishes,” Jerry explained. He often meets with families at their homes to discuss funeral arrangements, making it as comfortable as possible for families.
He also tries to make the funeral service as personal as possible. “I’m sentimental and family-oriented and touched by family history. I encourage family members to incorporate things into their loved one’s visitation or funeral service that means something to them,” he adds.
Another way that Jerry tries to pay tribute is to drive by the family’s home on the way to the cemetery. He considers it a simple final tribute — one last goodbye.
Being part of the Pawnee community is a big deal to Jerry. He is a member of several civic groups and community organizations in Springfield and Pawnee, including the Pawnee Lions Club and the Abraham Lincoln Council of Boy Scouts of America. He has been a scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 202 in Springfield for 40 years.
“I’m committed to serving people through my profession and community activities. I believe it’s important to serve and give back to the community. My family and I have been honored to serve families in Pawnee and surrounding communities, and we look forward to being a part of the community for years to come,” Jerry said.
Located at 407 Carroll St. in Pawnee, the funeral home, which was originally built in 1905, is owned by those who care about making sure that you receive exactly what you want and need in your time of grief. For more information about Curry Funeral Home, check out www.curryfh.com.