David Roscoe Gurganus
David Roscoe Gurganus, Sr., 81, of Roanoke Rapids, passed away on Sunday, December 21, 2014 with his wife, Jean, by his side in Raleigh, NC. He was born July 17, 1933 in Tarboro, the son of the late Charlie Thomas and Edna Cooke Gurganus. He was also preceded in death by his brothers Thomas and Joseph Gurganus; and sisters-in-law Sandra and Anita Johnson.
David graduated from West Edgecombe High School and volunteered to serve his Country in the United States Army as a Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division near the end of the Korean War. David also served as Corporal in the Army Department of Human Resources and Payroll at Fort Bragg. He was introduced to Mamie Jean Johnson by Marion King Getty both of Rocky Mount after she had graduated from high school. They were married on January 8, 1956 while David was on leave from the Army. After their wedding at Bible Missionary Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, the newlyweds honeymooned in St. Augustine, Florida after dropping David's Army buddies back off at Fort Bragg.
David joined the City of Rocky Mount Police Department after an honorable discharge for his military service. As a police officer, David was one of the last breed of law enforcement officers to carry out duties on foot patrols and spoke often and fondly about ''walking his beat'' in the city business section.
In 1959, David entered the insurance industry as an adjuster for James C. Greene Insurance in Rocky Mount and later relocated to Roanoke Rapids with Nationwide Insurance as their personal injury and property claims specialist for the Roanoke Valley. During this time, David received numerous awards and training for his insurance work. Using his insurance training, David became partner of Econo Cleaning Service before opening Gurganus Cleaning as president, a position he held for more than ten years specializing in environmental damage restoration for residential and commercial businesses throughout the Roanoke Valley.
It was during this time in which David accepted an appointment as a North Carolina Magistrate serving the Halifax County Judicial System after completing training in the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. David served terms under many Chief District Court Judges, and during his nearly 30 year career of serving as a Magistrate of the Halifax District Court he handled criminal and civil matters under North Carolina law. In the tradition of The Office of the Magistrate, David also served as a Justice of the Peace and enjoyed performing the marriage ceremonies of many citizens including the ceremony of son Michael to his wife Jessica.
Upon his retirement in 2010, David enjoyed time with his beloved wife and together they traveled throughout the United States. A lifelong avid fisherman and boater, David enjoyed spending time with family and friends at Atlantic Beach and on Lake Gaston, a passion he passed onto his children. Known for his gardening and cooking, for many years David hosted an annual Fourth of July pig picking and cooked for many organizations and events with his friends. David also enjoyed the family dogs and was most happy making others laugh; he was a great story teller and loved to revel in fun times with family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jean Johnson Gurganus of Roanoke Rapids; his brother Edwin Gurganus and wife Janet; sister-in-law Kay Gurganus; brothers-in-law Bennie Ray Johnson and wife Martha of Rocky Mount; Donnie Johnson of Sharpsburg; Ronnie Johnson and wife, Ellen of Rocky Mount. His sons, David Gurganus, Jr. and wife, Sheila Mason of Morehead City; Michael Gurganus and wife, Jessica Feinberg of Richmond, Virginia; and Brian Gurganus and wife, Mary Zimmerer of Cary, along with grandchildren, Maxwell, Benjamin, Christine, Amelia, Patrick, Daniel, Margie Ann and many nieces and nephews.
David was a current member of Rosemary Baptist Church and formerly served as Deacon of Calvary Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids. Visitation with the family will be held at noon with a funeral Service following at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at Rosemary Baptist Church with Dr. Layne Wallace officiating. A graveside service will follow at Rocky Mount Memorial Park at 3 p.m. with nephew and Pastor Richard Gurganus of the Church on the Rise officiating. Gifts in memory of David may be made to the Rosemary Baptist Church, 900 Jackson St., Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870.