James Richard Curry, a church musician and retired state employee, died of cancer March 15 at Stella Maris Hospice. He was 74 and lived in Northeast Baltimore.
Born in Kilmarnock, Va., he attended what is now Virginia State University before moving to Baltimore in 1957. He then earned a diploma in business at the Cortez Peters Business School.
Mr. Curry retired from the Maryland Department of Social Services about 15 years ago.
He played piano and organ for Saturday vigil Masses at St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church in Walbrook. He also played at the Immaculate Conception Church on Mosher Street and St. Phillip's Lutheran Church in West Baltimore.
"He was a kind and endearing person. He had tremendous energy and was devoted to his friends," said Mary Elizabeth Holmes, a friend who lives on Eutaw Place. "He had a dry sense of humor."
Mr. Curry was an avid gardener, cook and occasional winemaker. Friends said he was known for beautifying his neighborhood by sweeping the street and planting flowers. He was a regular driver for elderly neighbors. He often accompanied people to medical appointments or helped them shop for groceries.
A Mass was offered Tuesday at St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church.
Survivors include four brothers, Marion Curry and Enos Curry, both of Baltimore, and Charles Curry and Adrian Curry, both of Kilmarnock.