Joseph Burnam Hurley

Photo of Joseph Burnam Hurley
Joseph Burnam Hurley, 88, entered the life eternal Tuesday evening, Nov. 27, from John L. McClellan Veterans Administration Hospital in Little Rock. A lifelong Arkansan, proud of his Razorbacks, Joe was born in Camden, Ark., to Ione Self and Curtis Brown Hurley. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lt. Curtis B. Hurley Jr.; and beloved daughter, Alice Gans Hurley Averill. Joe graduated from Morrilton High School where he played all-star football for the Morrilton Devil Dogs, served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, and attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Following his university studies he was active in the Arkansas Newspaper Publishing and Printing industry selling yearbooks for his uncle, Wallace Hurley at Hurley Co. in Camden and editor with his father of the Morrilton Democrat Newspaper. Then from 1957 to 1990, he was the owner of Hurley Printing and Stationery Company in El Dorado, Ark. A constant conversationalist who enjoyed meeting new people and telling stories, Joe continued working after selling his company for another 15 years at Walmart Stores in El Dorado, Goodlettsville, Tenn., and finally Fayetteville, Ark., where he and his wife, Doris, built their dream home on a hill overlooking the city. Joe was active in community and professional organizations as a longtime Rotarian with many years of perfect attendance, member and district president of the National Office Products Association, El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, South Arkansas Economic Development Commission, as well as member and president of United Way of Union County, El Dorado. In its heyday, Hurley Printing Company printed magazines and flyers for national distribution through Murphy Oil Corporation gas stations. A dedicated Christian and devoted churchman, Joe was a lifelong Presbyterian. He was active in Presbyterian churches week-in and week-out in Morrilton, Camden, El Dorado and Fayetteville, serving as deacon, elder, president of Men of the Church and president of the Men's Association for Presbytery of the Pines. He was particularly proud of his father of whom he often spoke as "the finest Christian man I have ever known." He was particularly pleased that his father was honored posthumously by an early newspaper employee, Ed McLaughlin, who endowed the Curtis B. Hurley Chair of International Journalism at the University of Missouri, located at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Joe is survived by his wife of 33 years, Doris; sister, Dorothy Street Hurley; and son, Edwin Gray Hurley (Gayle). He is also survived by his bonus children, Branch Brunson, Geoff Brunson, Marc Brunson (Laura), Amy Brooks and Leah Ford (Jon); grandchildren, Peter, Stuart, Catherine Hurley and Dalvin Averill; and among his many bonus grandchildren, were his namesakes, Joseph Sanders Brooks and Jonathan Burnam Ford. After a private family service, a Witness to the Resurrection service will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1 at First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, Ark., led by the Revs. Phil and Jan Butin, with honored guests of the Wednesday Prayer Group of FUPC and members of the Northside Rotary Club. Memorials may be made to the First United Presbyterian Church, 695 East Calvin St., Fayetteville, AR 72703 or St. Paul's Episcopal "Caring Friends" Respite Ministry, P.O. Box 1190, Fayetteville, AR 72702. To place an online tribute, visit

Published November 30, 2012