The Transylvania Times -

James "Jim/Jamie" Endicott Curwen


October 13, 2016

James "Jim/Jimmie" Endicott Curwen

James "Jim/Jimmie" Endicott Curwen passed away Oct 7, 2016, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's.

A native of Brevard, he was born May 21, 1943, to James Drinkwater Curwen and Doris Elaine Risk, both Brevard residents, and preceding him in death.

Raised in Brevard, he graduated from Christ School Arden in 1960 and from Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., in 1965.

He married his wife of 51 years, Elisabeth Glen Heedy (Binky), in June 1965. They went on to have a son, James Endicott Curwen Jr. (wife, Monica).

He was the epitome of a salesman. He first worked with American Enka Corporation, quickly transferring to RI with them as he advanced. He eventually moved into medical sales with American Hospital Supply Corp. Tired of working for others, he started his own successful medical sales agency, Vanguard Medical, representing Coratomic pacemakers. His final sales role found him with Roche BioMedical Laboratory, helping to set up many physician practices with in-office laboratories.

A former member of the Biltmore Forest Country Club, Barrington Yacht Club and Asheville Track Club, he was a tennis player, golfer, sailor, runner, backpacker and organizer -becoming an integral part of many of those communities he was active within.

While living in Barrington, R.I., he was very involved with his son's youth hockey program, both helping to coach and eventually serving as general manager of the Seekonk, Mass., All-star Team for a number of years.

Also an avid sailor, he raced both Sunfish and J-24s on Narragansett Bay. One of his greatest thrills was sailing along side and in the midst of The Tall Ships in 1976.

In 1982, he and Binky returned to North Carolina to be closer to their parents, enroll their son at Christ School and enjoy the Western North Carolina mountains they had both grown up in.

He became an avid runner after returning to North Carolina and ran in many local 5k and 10K races. He also qualified for and ran The Boston Marathon in 1990. Some of his fondest memories were of his running friends and family as they trained on the local trails of Bent Creek Experimental Forest or on the downtown streets from the local YMCA.

He served as race director for the infamous "Shut - in Trail Run," Belle Chere 5k, and was the original race director for the Black Mountain Marathon and Mount Mitchell Challenge trail run, now in it's 20th year, under the direction of his son, Jay.

While active in the running community, he was president of the Asheville Track Club and publisher of the award-winning ATC newsletter. He and Binky also spent wonderful times Hiking and backpacking in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

After retiring, he went on to take a two-year grant position with the North Carolina Arboretum as recreational liaison with the community when the Arboretum first closed the gates to the property. He considered this two years a marvelous opportunity to get involved further with the local outdoor community and thoroughly enjoyed his time there.

In 2001 he and Binky returned to Brevard, to the home his parents built in Fortune Cove. After bringing the 50s-era house up to modern standards, he again sought to serve the community and became very involved with St. Philip's Episcopal Church, where he served on the Vestry, Finance Committee, Cemetery Committee, and as an usher and greeter. He also served as junior warden until the progression of Parkinson's eventually forced him away.

He loved his family, friends, cats and his childhood home of Brevard. He often said, "I couldn't wait to get out of the small town of Brevard as a young man and then spent the rest of my life trying to get back home." He succeeded.

He always took his diagnosis and physical changes in stride and never lost his sense of humor. "It is what it is," was his attitude throughout his illness and decline. Through it all, he kept his sharp wit and sharper sense of detail and order. He was rarely at a loss for a sarcastic comeback to those that knew him well.

He is survived by his wife, Binky, of the home in Brevard; his son, James Endicott Curwen Jr. (Jay); his daughter-in-law, Monica, and grandsons, Chilton James Curwen and Gibson Endicott Curwen, all of Asheville; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Ray and Kathi Ballard, of Asheville, Tom and Cissy Butler, of South Port, N.C., and Glen and Peggy Heedy, of Gainesville, Fla .; his first cousins, Jay Risk (Paula), of Park Ridge, Ill., and Paul Risk (Lisa), of Cornelius, N.C .; and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to The Oaks of Brevard for the wonderful, supportive and compassionate care given to Jamie and his family and friends during the last months of his life.

A memorial service will be held at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Brevard Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, at 3 p.m. with Rev. William Walker and Rev. James Risk (first cousin) officiating.

A reception, given by E.C.W. of St. Philip's Care Committee, will follow in the Parish Hall.

Donations in his memory for the wonderful care and treatment he received during his fight may be made to: Memory Care, 101 Far Horizons Drive, Asheville, NC 28801; for the love and support that the whole community has offered, to: St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 256 East Main Street, Brevard, NC 28712; and for the work they do in protecting the land he loved, to: Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, 34 Wall Street, Suite 502, Asheville, NC 28801.

To leave a condolence for the family of James Endicott Curwen, visit "obituaries" at

Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is caring for the family.


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