Joseph M. Kurey, described by friends as “Mayor of Sun City Peachtree” in Griffin, GA, peacefully passed from this life, surrounded by loving family, on Sunday, July 11, 2021.
Joe was born March 14, 1940, in Charleroi, PA, to Joseph and Mary Kurey. After graduating from Monessen High School in 1958, Joe went on to earn a B.S. from Bethany College in West Virginia in 1962, and then an M.S. from University of Dayton in 1978. While at Bethany, Joe was an elite, multi-sport athlete. Not only was he a starter on the basketball team all four years—where he was named MVP—he was also number one on the tennis team, claiming conference titles for Bethany in both singles and doubles. Joe was named “Most Outstanding Athlete” his senior year and was eventually inducted into both the Bethany College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
When Joe was recruited to Bethany College, he did not realize that his decision would shape the rest of his life. Bethany was the place where he’d meet his wife Carol, raise his family in a loving community and devote his entire career. Shortly after graduating, Joe returned to Bethany College and held numerous positions over the years. He began by coaching the basketball and tennis teams, and soon moved into the college’s administration. His roles included Asst. Dean of Men, Registrar, Chief Business Officer, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer of the College and Senior Counsel to the President. He also served as Athletic Director in his final year and upon retirement the Board of Trustees named him Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, Emeritus. Joe was proud to have served under seven Presidents of the College and was honored by The Alumni Association of Bethany College when he received the Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award in 1985.
Joe was also active in his communities: Mayor of Bethany for four years; member of the Brooke County Planning Commission, the Brooke County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Joe sat on the Board of Directors for the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley, Inc.
Upon retirement, Joe and Carol decided to move to Sun City Peachtree in Griffin, GA to live closer to children and grandchildren. Joe continued his passion for serving his community by his involvement in both Sun City and Spalding County. He served as Chairman of the Finance Committee and as one of the founders of the Nest Egg Investment Group for Sun City. He was also on the Board of Governors at the golf club in Sun City where he served as Chairman of the Charity Classic Golf Tournament which raised money for several charities. Joe’s enthusiasm for sports and recreation also led him to serve on the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission.
Joe was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Griffin and was especially fond of his Men’s Bible Class. Always a people person, Joe loved spending time with all his new and wonderful friends at Sun City.
Joe is survived by his wife, Carol (née Dupke), son Raymond (LeAnn), son Kevin (Kacey), and daughter Karen Kurey Rocco (Jeremy). He was adored by all eight grandchildren: Megan, Emily, Karson, Joseph, Kyle, Kolin, Nola and Paige. Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Michael; and his grandson, Kyle.
A funeral service is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on July 17, 2021, at the First United Methodist Church in Griffin. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
The Joseph Kurey Memorial Fund
31 E Campus Dr
Bethany, WV 26032-0419