John Gurney

By Orleans Hub Posted 1 July 2020 at 12:55 pm

John Gurney

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John Gurney, 89, died in the early morning of Mon., June 29, 2020 in his Albion home.

John was born on Aug. 24, 1930 to Polish immigrants John (Jan) Gurney and Frances (Franciszka) Gurney. John was the youngest of his siblings; Virginia, Leone and Louis, born in 1918, 1921 and 1924 respectively, all having predeceased him. As a boy, John attended a Catholic primary school that both taught him the written word and cemented his faith in God, which remained strong in him until the end. His high school years were spent at first as an outcast, for he did not speak very good English, then as a track and football hero of Albion High School for many years, holding the record for the long jump.

After graduating high school, John joined the U.S. Navy. Specializing as a wooden pattern maker, he traveled to many distant places, servicing ships in both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Upon his return to Albion, John married June Earnst on May 12, 1956. Soon after, they purchased a house, where he and his wife lived for the rest of their lives. These years saw the birth of his daughter, Susan Lynn Gurney, in 1958; and his son, John Clarence Gurney, in 1961.

John wore many hats in life, including those of sailor, carpenter, business owner, landlord and bartender; but, through it all, he displayed a generosity and kindness that radiated into everything and everyone he loved. All who knew him and lived alongside him will surely feel his absence, yet also rejoice at having had such a man on this Earth for so long.

John is preceded in death by his father, mother, and all three of his siblings.

He is survived by his two children, Susan L. Gurney and John C. Gurney; five grandchildren, Lisa (Mark) Ray, Kara J. Schmitt, John C. Gurney Jr., Ashley F. Schmitt and Kristian G. Schmitt; as well as three great-grandchildren, Emma Ray, Kayla Ray and Piper Froman.

There will be no calling hours. Private services and interment will take place at the convenience of the family.

John’s arrangements have been entrusted to Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, Inc. of Albion. To share a special memory of John, please visit