Joseph's Story

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"Joe", died peacefully in Jupiter, Florida, on March 11, 2017 at the age of 87. Joe is survived by his children, Dr. Daniel MacCurdy and his wife, Carol Maddox MacCurdy of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; his daughter, Carol Lynn MacCurdy, and her husband, Russell Travers, and their children, Victoria and Eric Travers, of Arlington, Virginia. He is also survived by his second wife, Joyce Chiola-MacCurdy, of Palm Beach Gardens, from whom he had separated and was about to be divorced when he passed away. Joe is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 51 years, Beatrice Lois (née Testerman) MacCurdy, the mother of his two children, and by his older brother, William MacCurdy, Jr. Joe was born on January 30, 1930, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania to William I. MacCurdy, an engineer, aviator and architect, and Mary Helen Matthews, a Columbia and Bucknell University graduate and daughter of Johnstown flood hero Dr. William E. Matthews. Joe grew up in the Ferndale neighborhood of Johnstown during the Great Depression, his childhood marred by his father's alcoholism and his parent's subsequent divorce. He graduated from Ferndale High School in 1948, and his mother sold silverware door-to-door to send him to National Academy of Broadcasting in Washington DC. Joe enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War and served as a broadcast journalist from 1950-1954. Following his military service, Joe worked for magazines, radio and television stations across the Mid-West, sometimes using his radio personality nick-name "Danny-Mack." In 1953, Joe married Beatrice ("Bea") Testerman, a registered nurse, who worked full-time before and after their two children were born to supplement Joe's modest journalism income. While their children were young, Joe worked nights and attended college during the day for six years, eventually earning a Bachelor's degree in International Studies from Bradley University in 1963. Five years later, his additional education paid off: He switched from broadcasting to international sales when White Motor Company hired Joe and sent him and his family to South Africa to develop the African export market. Joe worked tirelessly and sold millions of dollars' worth of American-made road-building and farming machinery, but after the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, export opportunities dried up, and Joe returned home with his family in 1974 at the start of the "rust-belt" era. Despite the decline in heavy industry, he managed to land a job as the export manager for Bucyrus Blades in Galion, Ohio, where Joe and Bea lived and worked (she at Galion Hospital) for the next 18 years. By the time his international sales career ended, Joe had visited 59 countries - some of them as many as 44 times. His daughter, Carol Lynn MacCurdy, followed in her father's footsteps by joining the U.S. Foreign Service, with postings in Lima, Moscow, London and at the White House. His son, Daniel, became a medical doctor and set up practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where Joe and Bea retired in 1994. Carol Lynn and Daniel remember their father as a loving man devoted to life-long learning, self-improvement, hard work, his home and most of all - his family. An Eagle Scout and Scout Troop Master, Joe was thrifty, loyal, brave, modest, honorable and sober all his life. He was an expert photographer, amateur historian and an accomplished story-teller who entertained his fellow service club members (Lions, Rotary, and Kiwanis) with personal travelogues from around the globe. He was also a leader in his community association (Garden Oaks, Palm Beach Gardens, FL) where he is fondly remembered for having saved his entire sub-development from flooding. Per Joe's wishes, a funeral has been scheduled for Saturday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m. Grandview Cemetery (followed by a service at Picking-Treece-Bennett Mortuary) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he will be buried alongside his wife Beatrice and his fore bearers. A reunion luncheon for family and friends will follow at 12 noon at the Boulevard Grill. Daniel and Carol Lynn wish to thank the staff of Trustbridge Hospice and Brookdale Assisted Living for the very fine 24/7 care they provided during their father's final weeks. Condolences can be sent to them at maccurdy@verizon.net. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the non-profit National Committee to Prevent Elder Abuse.
Published on March 20, 2017
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