Gary Richards Hurt, age 67, of Columbus, MS, passed away Thursday, July 5, 2018, at his residence from a heart attack resulting from diabetes. Gary was born in Noxubee County, on June 7, 1951, to the late Travis Alonzo Hurt and Jeanette Richards (Hurt) Burnley. He graduated from Noxubee County High School in 1971 and answered the call of his country by serving in the United States Army Reserves for six years. Gary had extensive knowledge in mechanical skills and began to use this innate ability in the workplace at the Noxubee County Feed Mill for four years before moving to his place of long-term employment: Holcim in Artesia, MS. When Holcim closed in 2009, after Gary worked there for 31 years, primarily in mechanical maintenance, Gary worked briefly at Navistar in West Point, MS, before beginning his final position of public employment at Xerium Industries (Weavexx) in Starkville, MS, where he retired in 2016. Gary met the love of his life, the former Rhonda Frances Cooper of Brooksville, MS in December 1972, and later married on March 9, 1974. They were blessed with two children, a son, Jeremy Eugene Hurt, and a daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Hurt, during their 44 years of marriage. Gary loved his family very much and extended his love to his close friends. Gary was one to always serve others when those close to him requested help. In 2016, Gary exemplified his compassion for his family when he gave assistance to the man who took on the role of Gary’s father, the late Jerreal “Jake” Burnley of Mashulaville, MS, as his health declined. In the absence of Gary’s biological father, Jake modeled Christian morals and values and instilled a superior work ethic in Gary as Gary would later do for his own children. “I loved my father so much. He taught me how to hunt, fish, work on trucks, drive motorcycles, change the oil in my truck, and to be a strong, hard-working man.” – Jeremy Hurt “My dad was known for his story-telling skills, big hugs, and ability to fix anything. I will always lovingly remember my dad for these things and for supporting me in all of my dreams – even when these dreams took me out of my hometown. Though he’s gone, several of my dad’s qualities live on in me, including a love of history, a stubborn will to finish tasks, and a pride to take care of my possessions and those I love.“ – Hannah Hurt Gary’s hobbies included: diligently maintaining his family’s automobiles and small engines, hunting, fishing, riding motorcycles, watching history shows, watching car restoration and all varieties of racing. He enjoyed cruising the Tennessee-Tombigbee River on his pontoon boat, which he had completely rebuilt. Gary had a unique gift that enabled him to identify almost any make and model of vehicles and that was always a conversation topic. Gary was a long-time member of Mashulaville Baptist Church and recently moved his membership to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Gary is survived by his wife, Rhonda Cooper Hurt of Columbus, MS; his son, Jeremy Eugene (Bethany) Hurt of Philadelphia, MS; his daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Hurt (David Richards) of Arlington, Texas; his sister, Lissa (Lowry) Wilson of New Albany, MS; and his nephews, Chadwick Wilson of New York, New York and Adam (Lauren) Wilson of Orlando, Florida. Pallbearers were Tommy Millsaps, Eli Perrigin, Roger Perrigin, Lowell Hill, Tim Read and Brian Devereaux. Honorary Pallbearers include: Bert Phillips, Jack Holliman, Donnie Lee, Chase Larmour CNP, Dr. John Stanback, Dr. Gan Lim, Jessica Eaton CLNP, Dr. Susie Johnson, Dr. Phillip Hooker, Former Employees of Holcim, Former and Current Employees of Weavexx and Members of Randy Tollison’s Life Group at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Family visitation was held from 4:00 – 5:00 at Lowndes County Funeral home on Saturday, July 7, 2018, followed by a public visitation until 7:00. Funeral services were also held at Lowndes Country Funeral home at 2:00 on Sunday, July 8, with Dr. Bill Hurt officiating and Bro. David Honeycutt assisting. Gary was laid to rest in the Lone Oak Cemetery in Steens, MS. Memorials may be addressed to the American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202.
Appeared in The Commercial Dispatch on July 12, 2018
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