Henry “Pop” Scurry, Sr. has taught his last class here
Henry Lewis Scurry, Sr., born July 18, 1941 in Sanford, Florida, was the first child born to Dennis Scurry and Janie Lue Houser. Affectionately known to his family and close friends as “Pop”. Henry was an active member of the Reddick’s Memorial First Born Church of the Living God in Sanford where he served as Secretary of the Sunday School throughout his high school years.
Henry was educated in Seminole County Schools and he was known throughout the community for his academic achievements. Henry was not a stranger to hard work as he labored in the local agricultural fields, starting at age twelve, scratching weeds, he cut celery in Sanford and spent his summers picking corn, lettuce, beans and cauliflower as a migrant worker. Henry also had a small neighborhood lawn cutting business in Sanford. While he was in high school, he worked as a helper at Wilson-Eichel-Berger Funeral Home in Sanford. Henry said that those years of tough manual labor convinced him he had to go to college.
Excelling in his academic he was always among the top two students in his classes, in healthy competition with his best friend, Joe Kendrick. Upon graduation Henry received an academic scholarship to Knoxville (Tennessee) College where he majored in biology and minored in chemistry. He was elected President of the Student Body and was initiated into the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and later became a Graduate Chapter President and a Life Member.
With a Bachelor of Science degree from Knoxville College, in May 1963 he started graduate school at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)August 1963. In May 1965, he received a Master of Science in Zoology. Henry taught in the Biology Department at Kentucky State College, as an Associate Professor and was tenured.
Deciding to pursue his life-long interest in Funeral Service, in 1976 Henry attend Miami Dade Community College’s) Department of Mortuary Science. Because of a strong science background, he was able to complete the two year degree program, with honors, in two semesters. Henry was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department, advanced to full Professor and Department Chairman of Biological Sciences. With a continuing thirst for knowledge and while fulfilling his faculty responsibilities, Henry obtained a Master of Public Health degree from Florida International University in 2003. After thirty-one years of dedicated service, including fourteen years as Department Chairman, Henry retired from Miami Dade College in June 2008.
As Henry pursued his career as a college professor, he also actualized his desire to become a funeral home owner. In 1980 he opened Scurry Funeral Home, Ltd. which continues to exist.
As Henry pursued his academic and professional callings, he also made time for religious and community involvement. Henry was a member of New Mount Olive Baptist Church where he served on the church’s Finance Board. He was a member of the Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He was a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He served on the Boards of United Way of Broward County and Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida and the Fort Lauderdale Cemetery System Board of Trustees. Wanting to have a voice in how his city was run, he was once a candidate for the Fort Lauderdale City Commission. Henry also was a member of the Pride of Fort Lauderdale Elks Lodge #652.
Henry, who was noted to be a strong taskmaster, touched thousands of lives during his more than 40 years in academia. He was especially known for his impressive subject matter knowledge and his stringent class requirements. For many years, he taught Anatomy & Physiology (A&P) to aspiring nurses, physicians and funeral directors who were required to pass his classes and they still recall that experience.
Henry’s death has had a tremendous impact on his loved ones, so many of his former students and the many others whose lives he touched. He leaves to mourn his passing his devoted and beloved wife: Regina Kelly-Scurry, three daughters: Lisa, Regina and Ingrid; two sons: Henry, Jr., and Kelly and a host of siblings, close friends and family.