Fletcher Curry – Celebration of a love-filled life

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 23, 2023

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Fletcher Curry, one of Greenville’s oldest residents, recently passed away after 106 years of living a loving and devoted life. 

According to Curry’s grandson, Alfred Barganier, he was known as a jack-of-all-trades who worked as a handyman and did janitorial work and brick masonry. 

But his passion was in gardening and flowers. 

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“He loved flowers and planted a lot of them that are still alive today,” Barganier said. “He knew how to graft flowers, and grafted many kinds of his favorite flower, the camellia. One thing that always stood out for me was the sugar cane he grew. He would grow it, grind it until it was juicy, then take the juice and make a syrup. We would eat the cane syrup, and he would make candy out of it.”

Curry was born in 1916 in Red Level, and was the last survivor of eight siblings. In 1938 he married Ellen Crenshaw in Bolling, and the couple had four daughters. This beautiful union lasted 58 years until his wife passed away in 1996. 

Curry’s daughter, Annie Lois Stone, said he was the best father who ever lived. 

“He was kind, gentle, compassionate and loved people, loved God and loved his family,” Stone said. “He truly lived what he preached. He just wanted everyone to respect each other, and to accept people for who they were. Love was the thing he wanted out of life the most.” 

Fletcher and Ellen joined the Christian Light Baptist Church in Industry. They served faithfully there until 1946 when they moved their family to Greenville so their children could attend school. Soon after, they became members at the St. Paul Baptist Church. Years later Curry was ordained as a deacon and served in this capacity until he could no longer due to health reasons. 

When asked about his unusually long life, his grandson attributed it firstly to his spirituality. 

“He was a very spiritual man,” Barganier said. “There is a scripture in the Bible, Exodus 20:12, that says, ‘Honor your parents and you will have a long life.’ He stayed true to that and made many sacrifices so he could take care of his parents. He also walked a lot, even though he had a car, he preferred to walk. He had a truly beautiful marriage, and just a beautiful life.”

Barganier chuckled as he recalled a special way the family honored Curry at his funeral. 

“He stopped cursing years and years ago, and he would use ‘John Brown’ as a substitute for a curse word,” Barganier said. “So, we had a big John Brown celebration in the church at his funeral.”

Curry is survived by his daughters Annie Lois Stone, Mary Ellen Grimes, and Juanita Ann Andrews, his eight grandchildren including Alfred Barganier, Garod Stone, Broderick Andrews, Kista H. Starks, Derrick Andrews and Cedrick Andrews. Curry leaves behind 13 great grandchildren, 20 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild. His daughter Betty Jean, and two granddaughters, Kimberly Pate and Wanda Pate Thagard, preceded him in death. 

Curry leaves behind a legacy of loving, sharing, caring, gardening, a master of hymns and devotions, an active church Deacon, a loyal Christian and a very loving husband, father and friend. May he rest in peace with his beloved.