Earl Kendrick (Ken) Hurt, Jr. of Union Hall, VA passed away peacefully at home on September 24, 2023 at the age of 81. He was the eldest of Earl Kendrick Hurt, Sr. and Jane Baldwin Hurt York.
Ken was born on September 23, 1942 in Richlands, Virginia. He graduated from Richlands High School in 1959 and Greenbrier Military School in 1960. His youth included many wonderful memories of family gatherings at Cedar Bluff, jumping in swimming holes at the “The Island” and Bally Haven, helping run errands for his father’s businesses in downtown Richlands, and summers later spent working at Camp Kiniya in Vermont where he was a Riflery Instructor and helped campers learn watersports. He continued his education at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia and graduated with a B.A. degree in Psychology. He moved to Arlington, VA but greatly enjoyed returning to Emory & Henry on Homecoming weekends in his prized Sunbeam Tiger and reconnecting with his Phi Pi Alpha Fraternity brothers. His easy smile and robust greetings captured those around him, including the love of his life, Jean Carole McCollum, whom he wed on November 10, 1968.
Ken proudly served 6 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, 352nd Civil Affairs Unit in Washington, D.C. He enjoyed 32 years in management with the Arlington County Department of Parks & Recreation. His attention to detail and unrelenting work ethic cultivated strong relationships with both colleagues and friends. Post-retirement, he served as a Facility Manager with Arlington County Public Schools and worked in the Capital Improvement Projects division of the City of Alexandria, VA. Ken and Jean were long-time residents of Arlington, VA and actively involved in their community. Ken was a natural leader who embodied positivity and a quiet thoughtfulness, which led to his roles as President of his fraternity at Emory & Henry, President of the Dominion Hills Pool – Area Recreation Association board, President of the Forbidden Acts Investment Club, and was a division referee for regional high school basketball and football games. Ken and Jean were active members of Cherrydale United Methodist Church where Ken served as Head Usher and participated in annual Christmas Living Nativity and Last Supper reenactments.
For over 25 years, Ken spent weekends with family and friends at the families’ humble A-frame cabin on Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, MD. He was an avid skier, boater, sailor, outdoorsman, and accomplished Mr. Fix-It who loved lake living. Ken treasured his 1983 Flying Scot and looked forward to raising the sails whenever the wind evoked an optimal heel. Upon retirement in 2006, Ken and Jean moved to Smith Mountain Lake where they became members of Trinity Ecumenical Parish. Ken enjoyed his time on the Landscape Committee at the Cottages, attending the BUHBAs men’s breakfast gatherings, and serving as Usher and Greeter at Trinity Ecumenical. He volunteered for the Smith Mountain Lake Association water quality monitoring program and, with his usual due diligence, approached this task with a clipboard and spreadsheets. Ken took great pleasure in his membership of the SML Lions Club, where he volunteered at many charity events and served on the Scholarship Trust Board from 2018-2023. Later in life, his eclectic pursuits included woodworking, landscape care and irrigation, grilling savory Big Green Egg meals, collecting US National Park Passport stamps, and even a rather short stint playing the pan drum. He remained devoted to his family and loved their visits, phone calls, special events, and celebrations. Despite a terminal cancer diagnosis 27 years ago, Ken lived his life fully and never gave up.
Ken was preceded in death by his father Earl Kendrick Hurt, Sr., his mother Jane Baldwin Hurt York, and his stepfather Maj. Gen. (USAF Ret.) John Y. York Jr.
Ken is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jean; two children Michael (Caroline) and Kerry (Jud); four grandchildren Paisley, Quinn, Elise, and Mac; sisters Marty (Doug) and Susan, and brother Hunter (Maria); and a host of in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Many affectionately call him “PawPaw” and remember his love of sports, board games, dueling Chopsticks on the piano, and sunset cruises on the water.
A Celebration of Life service will be on October 28, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta, VA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the SML Lions Club Scholarship Trust (mail checks to P.O. Box 655, Hardy, VA 24101) or online to Trinity Ecumenical Parish (www.trinityecumenical.org). Conner-Bowman Funeral Home in Rocky Mount, VA is assisting the family. Those wishing to express sympathy online may do so at www.connerbowman.com.