Remembering Bill Currie – As the world moves on

This week I lost a dear friend. Bill Currie passed on Monday, October 26 alone in his home. Currie was my high school journalism professor, but for me and so many of his previous staff members he was so much more. I spent yesterday evening among many of his family members, fellow faculty members and past students and staff members as we gathered to celebrate the magnificent life of this man and to say goodbye to our friend.

It would take me a million pages to sum up the man so anything I write will fall quite short. Currie was a man of legend… rarely did my sixteen-year-old self believe the outlandish stories he would tell on a weekly basis in that journalism workroom, however six years later I would never have second guessed a word he uttered. This is a man who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and yet found some of his greatest moments in a small classroom at a Mid-western high school. At sixteen, when I knew it all, he was a man in the way… he was a speed bump in every day, an obstacle. Being stubborn myself, he was a force to be reckoned with. He was always right, even when his ideas were off the wall. He loved us though, although most of us did not come to realize that until long after graduation.

CurrieImageWEB

And I feel the need to stop right now to say he would HATE every other word that I have written. I will never end a sentence with a preposition, misspell a word, use an ellipse, or a conjunction without thinking of this man.

Older and wiser (in the sense that I am now aware of my own ignorance) I have come to know how special Currie was to each student who was lucky enough to know him. He was a man who could have been anyone and could have done anything, yet he was, and lived to be, our teacher, mentor and friend. His purpose was to bring the best out in all of us, and in my case I can say that he was able to do that… and that he still is helping me be the person I am suppose to be.

I will miss him dearly, though knowing him he will never quite be gone. His mark is clearly stamped on my life and each time I set down to write even a thank you note I will think of him.

Now I must pick up my life where I left it 3 days ago and move forward. Though it is often difficult to face the fact that the world is speeding by despite the fact that something so earth shattering has happened, we must… we must pick everything back up as it was before and move forward. So with that I bid farewell to my friend, mentor and greatest teacher Currie. Every ounce of success I hope to find I dedicate to you!

6 thoughts on “Remembering Bill Currie – As the world moves on

  1. A beautiful tribute. It sounded like he was a great teacher and mentor. What a loss.I am so sorry for his friends,family,and students who will truly miss him.

  2. Your words brought a sense of calm and warmth to my heart. My brother would have been so moved by your expression of admiration and respect.

    Bill was one of a kind. Someone that lost his way by following his heart. Yes, he marched with Dr. King. He believed in the idea that “all men are created equal, and should be treated as so”. For Bill that march cost him some things that he could never replace in his life. His dream to be a Methodist minister for one. His dream to teach young people about the word of God. Those losses eventually cost him the family he and his wife had recently started.

    Bill went on to have a good life but not the one he had thought was in front of him. He had great friends, a lot of great loves, remained true to his commitment not to put up with BS, and loved a great arguement.

    He loved his son, his dogs (Mollie being the most recent), his friend Johnny and his family. Possibly, and most likely, in that order.

    For the past 13 years he had found a new love, the kids at JCHS. Bill loved the journalism and English classes he taught. He was extremely proud of the newspaper and the yearbook. He was extremely proud of the work the students put into those publications.

    Each time I spoke with Bill our conversations always turned to what the kids were writing about, what the ones that had graduated had gone on to do with their writing abilities, what his hopes were for the students “this year”.

    Thank you, to each of you that were Bill’s students. Thank you for listening to his stories (trust me, most of them are true I am sure), thank you for giving him some of the greatest pleasures and proudest moments of his life. Trust me, teaching you and learning from you, sharing your high school memories with you, those things made Bill very happy.

    I love my brother and I miss him. Knowing how much he enjoyed being your teacher and advisor means so much to me and the rest of our family.

    Thank you for being Bill’s extended family and for loving him as we do.

    1. Thank you for your reply. I will have to admit that writing that on the blog was mostly for myself. It was therapeutic for me to voice my feelings and gratitude for Currie and reading your reply brought tears to my eyes. I am happy to know that others who loved him found this post. I am grateful for who he was and only wish he would have come into my life earlier, because I can truly say he made me who I am today. I also would have won a few more arguments had I been taught by the master a little sooner.

      I still think of him on a regular basis and will always carry him in my heart. I appreciate the further glimpse you provided into who he was, as I know I only knew a fraction of the man.

      Thank you.

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