James Edward Curry was the third of six children born to James and Lillie Mae Jones Curry in Terrell, TX on June 12, 1929, while the family resided in Elmo, (Kaufman County) Texas. The family later moved to Dallas after James’s father’s untimely death in 1938.
James attended B. F. Darrell Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School. He left High School and enlisted in the Navy at the age of 16, and he was honorably discharged from the Navy in September of 1949. After being discharged, James attended Dallas Vocational School where he majored in upholstery and furniture refinishing and tailoring. Because of his tailoring skills, James worked at the Haggar Manufacturing Company as the first Black tailor of slacks before joining the United States Postal Service (USPS). In 1950 James opened, owned and operated Curry’s Upholstery Shop for more than twenty-five years while working at USPS as a mail clerk. Curry’s Upholstery Shop was known around the DFW metroplex for its quality workmanship and timely delivery. After several years as a mail clerk, James transferred to the maintenance department of the USPS where he worked as a painter and mailbox installer.
In 1982, James retired from the USPS, and he formed Curry Construction and Painting Contractors, when USPS began to subcontract its mailbox installation and painting operations. He later purchased Mail Boxes Etc. so that he could become a mailbox supplier in addition to an installer. James continued to work this business until his health failed because all he knew was “hard work” from his childhood.
James married Ruthie Mae Streeter in 1946 and from that union one child was born—Beverly Ann Curry Matthis. While James and Ruthie Mae divorced in 1951, they remained friends, and James remained involved in Beverly’s life until his death. James was introduced to Willie B. Modester in 1958 by Mrs. Ida Mae Johnson, and they married June 12, 1960. To this union, one child was born—Kendrick Edward Curry. They remained married until Willie B. deceased on November 2, 2015.
From childhood, church was always a part of James’ life. In 1951, James accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, and he united with Good Street Baptist Church under the ministry of Reverend Dr. C.A.W. Clark and immediately began serving as a pulpit usher. He was later ordained as a Deacon in 1958, and he served in many areas within the church such as the offering collection and counting ministry. James loved Sunday School, and attended faithfully until his health began to fail.
James enjoyed playing all sorts of table games, especially cards and dominoes. Bridge was a favorite pastime enjoyment for a number of years, and he was a member of the Challenge Bridge Club and the Owl Domino Club until his health began to fail. He was also a Prince Hall Mason and attended many of the local, regional and national meetings.
James was preceded in death by his wife, Willie B.; brothers, Robert, William, and Johnny Curry; sisters, Dorothy Mae, and Betty. Living relatives include daughter Beverly Matthis (Garland); son Kendrick E. Curry (Karen); nephew Myron (Maudia) Curry; grandchildren Ebony (Cecil), Lyle (Jakema), Keyona, and Kendrick II; great grandchildren, Leneice (Dane) Beasley; De’Ambria, Arieal, Terrell, and Kaleigha Hawkins; Xavier, Darien, Jordyn, Devion, Keundray, and Jamyre Matthis; and great-great grandchildren, Londyn Hawkins. James also leaves behind many relatives by marriage, extended family and friends.