The Pecan Park Eagle Has Soared Into the Great Beyond . . .

. . . a place an infinite number of times further than Babe Ruth’s 575-foot homer out of Navin Field, surpassing beyond Mickey Mantle’s mythical 643-foot homer – soaring in spirit is The Pecan Park Eagle, high above the billowing clouds of a spring morning, in flight destiny – to all that is bright and beautiful.

It is with a heart heavier than a bag of every ball hit in the game of base that my father, Bill McCurdy, is no longer of this realm of existence. He passed away at 8 in the morning, Saturday, April 27, 2019. He leaves behind his wife (my mom), Norma, a son (myself), Casey, a brother, John Carroll McCurdy (who just lost his wife, Linda, on the 2nd of this month), nieces Jennifer and Emily McCurdy, and a nephew, Daniel McCurdy. He is preceded in death by his sister, Margery Ruth McCurdy, who passed April of 2018. (We are really weary of April now.)

You are all invited to come say farewell to the greatest baseball historian of our time, a man who has touched many lives as a psychotherapist and humanitarian, a gentle soul who always encouraged others to follow their passions and individuality, a loving and devoted husband, an ever-present loving father I was ever so privileged to grow up with, and a spiritual being who believed God is love.

Services will be held at:
Forest Park Lawndale
6900 Lawndale Ave.
Houston, TX 77023

All events will occur at the funeral home.

Visitation – Sun. 5/5, Colonial Chapel @ 5-7:30pm
Rosary – Sun. 5/5, Colonial Chapel @ 7:30pm
Funeral Mass – Mon. 5/6, Colonial Chapel @ 11am

There is a special consolation in this melancholy reunion; because you once held a larger world within you, I found a larger world in me. Fly home, Dad, fly home.

 

– Casey McCurdy

26 Responses to “The Pecan Park Eagle Has Soared Into the Great Beyond . . .”

  1. Matt Rejmaniak Says:

    Bill has a special place in my heart, as I know he does yours. Peace and comfort to you and to your family at this time.

  2. Anna Shepeard Says:

    A great loss for us all. My condolences

  3. Marsha Franty Says:

    Your dad would appreciate your tribute, Casey. Many people share in both your sorrow and your testimony to what a unique generous, and loving man he was.

  4. Al Doyle Says:

    Your dad was a kind and gracious man and one of the most dedicated baseball historians around. May the Lord comfort your family in this sad time.

  5. Tom Hunter Says:

    My deepest and heartfelt condolences to you and your family, Casey. I had planned to send an email to your father tonight asking why he hadn’t published anything in The Pecan Park Eagle since April 4th. By coincidence, I nearly died of a ruptured appendix on April 27, 1963, and to think Bill passed away on this date is strangely moving.

    I met with your father at Kelley’s on Park Place in Houston on one of my trips to Pearland on Friday, October 21, 2016, a date that will hold a special place in my memory.

    Occasionally, I would send him email early in the morning, pointing out a typo or factual error in the TPPE. As a result he called me his secret editor: an honor I highly prized.

    “April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.”
    (from The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot)

    May God bless the soul of Bill McCurdy.

    Tom Hunter, Denver

  6. Mark Wernick Says:

    How I valued my connection with your gracious father, Casey. He enriched my life. Such a good man. He lives on within all of us who knew him. I’ll carry him with me to our next reunion, in the Great Beyond.

  7. Paul English Says:

    I will miss the eagle.

  8. Mike McCully Says:

    Casey,

    As was said above, your dad would very much appreciate the tribute you wrote. (It looks like you inherited his gift of writing, too, by the way.) Several years ago your dad wrote what I’ve included below after he attended and took pictures of my brother-in-law’s memorial service. I posted this earlier and hope it’s OK if I post it again–because it’s one more thing your dad wrote. All the best from Jannelle and me to you and your mom and all family and friends. Anyway, here’s what your dad wrote:
    >
    > Today’s memorial service was one of the most heartfelt and
    > inspiring salutes to our hope for victory over death that I have
    > ever heard. Rev. R. B. Thieme III spoke eloquently and honestly
    > to the fact that our hope flows only through Our Savior Jesus
    > Christ – and that Arnold was someone who left this world with that
    > faith and understanding in his heart.
    >
    > None of us are saved by the good works we do – or by the
    > intervention of others. We have been saved by the death of Jesus
    > Christ on Calvary. None of us are saved, except through Him.
    > None of us could ever be good enough to approach His Godly
    > Perfection by our own behavior – and none of us could ever be
    > bad enough to be lost from the Power of Forgiveness that flows
    > from the Perfect God that gave us His Only Begotten
    > Son for the sake our salvation.
    >
    > Thank you Arnold. – All of us who came today were blessed to be
    > there.
    >
    Best to all,
    Mike McCully

  9. Larry Dierker Says:

    When I woke up from brain surgery in the summer of 1999, I was surrounded with flowers and one artfully framed poem from the laureate of Houston baseball, Bill McCurdy. It still hangs in my study. I read it again this morning for good measure. There was no way to measure the kindness of the author.

    I treasure the memory of riding shotgun in old Oscar and Bill’s stylish hats — none of which could contain the passion of his love of the game.

    When Casey Stengel passed, columnist Jim Murray wrote: “God is getting an earful tonight,” I suppose he has the other earful now.

  10. bhick6 Says:

    Casey –

    I knew your Dad basically from one long conversation at a SABR National Convention. From then on, it was a series of correspondence conversations between Texas and Maryland, but it seemed as though we were the best of friends. That’s the way he was with people. A very warm and open man. He will be missed immeasurably, and he would be very proud of the thoughts you have expressed.

    Bill Hickman

  11. Wayne Roberts Says:

    I am so sorry. Bill is a great and gentle soul and an inspiration to all of us on how to live our lives.

  12. Tim Collins Says:

    Thanks for going to the trouble of breaking this sad news. I was introduced to the Eagle by the late Larry Joe Miggins, another baseball historian and historical re-enactor. I take comfort in the fact that they are now both sitting together and sharing their knowledge . . .

  13. Larry Dluhy Says:

    Prayers to your family – I loved Bill he was very special

  14. materene Says:

    So sorry to hear this, I loved to read his many wonderful post. May he rest in Peace.

  15. Rick B. Says:

    Wow, I’m truly sorry to hear this. My condolences to you, Casey, and to all of the family. I didn’t know your dad well, yet he still had a great impact on my life and was always helpful in all things, baseball and – more importantly – personal when we did interact.

    Thanks for letting everyone know about this and about the funeral arrangements. While his friends obviously would have known, more casual acquaintances like me would have been in the dark – I’m glad to have the opportunity to pay my last respects.

  16. Victor Pittman Says:

    Rest in peace, Bill. I consider myself so lucky to have known you. Casey, condolences to you and your family.

  17. don matlosz Says:

    Bill was the greatest boss I ever had when we worked at TRIMS. We have been friends for the past 40 years. A brilliant mind and a great sense of humor I will miss our phone conversations about the magical and mundane. I have lost a great friend and really cool guy

  18. gregclucas Says:

    Met Bill for the first time when the late Howard Greene brought him on board with the now inactive Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. Bill had some of the best idea ever for the Hall, but as with many great ideas the financials of carrying them to fruition didn’t fit. From that time nearly 25 years ago we talked baseball frequently. His wife Norma is a saint for allowing the house to be so much a baseball museum, but that was Dr. Bill. A psychologist by profession, but a baseball man in his heart. Thanks for one last Pecan Park Eagle, Casey. A great way to memorialize Mr. Houston Baseball– Dr. Bill McCurdy.

  19. John Watkins Says:

    Larry Dierker said it best: Bill was truly “the laureate of Houston baseball.” Though I never had the good fortune to meet him in person, I will always remember him through his writing and our email exchanges over the years. My condolences to you, Casey, and your family.

  20. strider49 Says:

    Bill combined knowledge, wit, passion and compassion. He was a man of gravitas and a poet. I miss his friendship and wise counsel.
    Rob Sangster

  21. Marti Moser Says:

    Casey & Family,
    I found your dad when I found his postings about old Houston car dealerships including a few I worked for in my 40 year career. A. J. Foyt Chevrolet, Bob Marco Buick & Sam White Oldsmobile to name a few. The Pecan Park headline caught my eye because that was my first home in August 1957. Then I realized quickly his love for the Buff’s, 45’s & Astro’s. My 82 year old husband was a member of the Knothole Gang & eventually progressed to Peanut Sales.
    I let him know that my Grandpa hung the iron on The 8th Wonder of the World. Not too long ago I stumbled upon a file belonging to the architect. Finally stumped him on a subject & was pleased to share a photo of the skeleton.
    With all that said, losing your dad will change you forever. We grieve for ourselves but celebrate their homecoming. I am 110% sure Milo Hamilton, Yogi Berra & yes, Ken Caminiti were there to greet him. Who wouldn’t want to be a fly on the “cloud” listening to the tales.
    God be with you all.

  22. Anthony Cavender Says:

    All of Bill’s friends join his grieving family in giving thanks for his wonderful life and the great gift of friendship he had.

  23. Tom Hunter Says:

    In the spring of 2020 at Minute Maid Park in Hall of Fame Alley, a commemorative brick will be installed:

    Bill McCurdy
    Pecan Park Eagle
    12/31/37-4/27/19

  24. maxwell1901 Says:

    It was indeed an honour to have been a friend and colleague of Bill McCurdy’s. Bill’s knowledge of Texas history, especially sports, was boundless, which he promoted through SABR, the Houston Babies, the Pecan Park Eagle, and several books he authored. Bill was also legendary for his sense of compassion and his acceptance of others. Jackie Robinson once stated that “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Bill McCurdy leaves a great impact and earned the respect and admiration of all those fortunate to have known him.

  25. Bruce Biundo Says:

    My memories of Bill go back to his undergraduate days at UH, when we were fraternity brothers; his intelligence, wit and maturity stood out back then, especially in his time as chapter president. Many years later, our paths crossed again, and I came to know of his passion for baseball and its rich history. More importantly, I was deeply impressed by the man he became deeply compassionate, reflective, spiritual and gracious. A wonderful person.

  26. stanfromtacoma Says:

    RIP Bill. I thank you for the kindness that was apparent in the many words you wrote on this website. My condolences to your family and many friends.

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