John Morton Curphey
John Morton Curphey, 92, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Miramar Beach, FL near his residence at Somerby Assisted Living. He lived at Somerby since 2016 with his wife of 66 years, Patricia Rairdon Curphey, before her death in 2017.
The son of Adelyn Byrd Johnston and William Morton Curphey, John was born June 8, 1927 in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from Columbus East High School where he was captain of the men's basketball team. He graduated from East as a 16-year-old, then went on to play basketball at the University of Kentucky his freshmen year. He then enlisted in the Army in World War II, and attended Officers Candidate School before being deployed to the Philippines where he served as an Army Infantry officer.
After his service in WWII, he attended The Ohio State University on the GI bill. At Ohio State, he was a member and officer of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and met his future wife, Patricia Rairdon. John went on to law school at Ohio State. He was called to duty while in law school, where he served on the front lines as a platoon leader in Korea from 1951 to 1952. He was decorated with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
His legal career started at the law firm Williams, Eversman & and Black, in Toledo Ohio, the predecessor firm to Robison, Curphey & O'Connell where he practiced until he retired in 1999. John relished hard work, trying cases and mentoring lawyers. He loved the practice of law, and was respected by his colleagues for sound judgment, command of the courtroom, and dedication to clients. His law partners were his closest of friends. He received many accolades during his career, including the induction into the American College of Trial Lawyers.
John and Pat were the parents of five children, William (deceased), John (Barbara), Jane (Bob), Jim (Gini) and Susan; seven grandchildren, Ruth Curphey Anderson (Adam), Addie Curphey Zwier (Michael), Mary Curphey Mills (Andy), Doug Curphey (Gabi), Will Vogelgesang, John Vogelgesang, and Gena Johnson and five great-grandchildren, Jacob, Ella, Maggie, Claire and Luke. He is also survived by his dear friend and companion, DeLene Sholes, also a resident of Somerby and fellow church member.
John and Pat enjoyed 66 years of loving marriage. They raised their five children in Old Orchard (Toledo) where they lived happily until John's retirement when they relocated to the Florida Panhandle. While in Toledo, John served on many boards, including a 35-year stint on the Riverside Hospital Board of Trustees – the longest standing board member in the hospital's history. He also served as a chairman of the Northcoast Affiliates Board of Directors and secretary of the Northcoast Health Systems Board of Directors. John and Pat were active members and leaders at Collingwood Presbyterian Church.
Known for his charm, wisdom, integrity, wit, good listening and engaging storytelling, John was admired by many. Throughout his life, he was an avid reader with an earnest desire to continue to learn. In his retirement, he was a devoted attendee of the men's Bible study group at Point Washington United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa Beach.
Affectionately nicknamed, "Bub," he was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who loved to spend time with family at the vacation home he and Pat built in Seaside, FL in 1990. Family members deeply cherish nearly 30 years of fun memories at Seaside with their parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, along with many friends.
There will be a memorial service at Point Washington United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa Beach on County HWY 395 at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, with a luncheon following. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the building fund at Point Washington United Methodist Church.
Published in The Blade from Jul. 7 to Jul. 8, 2019.