Currie dies at 73

Published 9:04 am Monday, November 28, 2011

The Atmore community will once again come together today to mourn the loss of one of its own as funeral services are held for Timothy “Tim” Fontaine Currie at First Baptist Church.

Tim, as he was known by his many friends and family members, passed away Wednesday at Mobile Infirmary following a lengthy battle with glioblastoma, the condition of having a malignant brain tumor.


Despite his fight with the disease in the last years of his life, Tim’s younger brother Randy Currie said he was in good spirits and was not in a great deal of pain.

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“He never had much pain until the very end of it,” Randy said. “We all feel like he’s been spared a lot.”
Randy said as those who knew him mourn his loss, they are also thankful Tim was granted his wish to not be immobilized or endure a lengthy stay in a hospital.

“It was really merciful because he never had to spend a day in the nursing home and didn’t have to be in the hospital for a great deal of time,” Randy said. “His prayers were answered. Maybe not ours, but his certainly were.”

Tim was born in Atmore on April 26, 1938, and grew up in the town’s public school system.

Randy described Tim as a precocious child who was very intelligent and was allowed to enter the first grade at the age of 5.

“My mom said he used to sit with books open as a kid,” Randy said. “He would point to words and say ‘mom, what does that mean?’”
Tim graduated from Escambia County High School in 1955 and entered Auburn University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration.

While at Auburn, Tim participated in the ROTC program and, upon graduation, was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U. S. Army.

He spent his military life in West Germany where he met and married Lieselotte Stamminger in 1961.

Having decided not to pursue a military career, Tim returned to south Alabama and entered the family business in McCullough. Under his innovative leadership, the Frank Currie Gin Company grew from a small town gin into the leading ginning operation in the Southeastern United States, with annual production reaching as high as 65,000 bales in one year. Tim received many awards in recognition of his achievements, including being named “Ginner of the Year” by the Southeastern Cotton Ginners’ Association.  He also served on the boards of several statewide organizations involved with the cotton industry.

In the Atmore Community, Tim was on the board of directors at the First National Bank, and served as chairman of the board for a number of years. He also was a long time member of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce.

In McCullough, Tim took a particular interest in the McCullough Cemetery, which will be his final resting place. He was also a faithful and generous member of Baptist churches in the Atmore area. Tim was most recently a member and a deacon of First Baptist Church. He not only was generous to the local churches, but supported missions in many countries. Tim was also a member of the Richard Montgomery Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Randy said his brother was a man of many interests, including saving his hard earned money.

“It’s too bad he had no interest in politics,” Randy joked. “Because he probably would have been good for the national economy.”
Randy recalled many good times with his brother, including some entertaining quirks he observed.

“His wife has this cat named Morris,” Randy said with a chuckle. “And here’s this man that is a paragon of Christian values, but he had a little mean streak when it came to Morris. He was his chief torturer.”

Randy said, despite the somber occasion, he believes Tim’s family and friends are at peace with his passing.

“We’ve all know it was an incurable sickness,” he said. “And we’ve all spent some good quality time with him.”
Randy said what he will remember and miss most about Tim is simple.

“He was my brother,” he said. “But he was also my best friend.”

Tim was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Frances “Bebe” Payne Currie Kobos, and his wife of 45 years, “Lilo” Stamminger Currie. He is survived by his present wife Dianne Lyons Currie, and daughters Marianne Currie Garr and her husband Joe along with their four children, all of St. Louis, Heidi J. Currie of Mobile, brother Randolph N. Currie of Sylvania, Ohio, stepchildren Jared Leachman and Tammy Chlebowski and their children.  Other survivors include brother-in-law Robert Kobos, sisters-in-law, Bobby Sue Brewer, Margaret Currie, Heidi Stamminger and Inge Stamminger of Germany, many nieces and nephews, and Crawford R. Caine and Ann Caine Clack, maternal uncle and aunt.

Funeral services will be at the First Baptist Church in Atmore at 11 a.m. today. Visitation will precede the service beginning at 9 a.m. Burial will be at the McCullough Cemetery following the funeral.

Those honored to be pallbearers are “Tim’s Boys”: Mark Mack, Ron Bailey, Robert Moye, Quint Wilson, Randall Whately, Ricky Ward and Darren Carnely.

Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.