Wilcox leader and advocate, Curl, dies

Published 9:18pm Monday, January 28, 2013

Four-term Wilcox County Commissioner Mark Hollis Curl died of an apparent heart attack Saturday evening. He was 53.

Probate Judge Kim Ballard recognized the loss of a fellow commissioner during Monday’s Dallas County Commission meeting.

“[Curl] had been hunting Saturday and came back to the lodge, and he had a massive heart attack and died,” Ballard said. “He was a personal friend of mine, a personal friend to a lot of us. He will be greatly missed.”

Wilcox County Commissioner John Moton agreed.

“I’ve served on the commission for four years now, and Commissioner Curl was a veteran of the commission. He served several terms, and he was very familiar with what the commission is supposed to do in county business,” Moton said. “And that’s what we’re going to miss most — his knowledge of what’s actually supposed to take place on the commission.”

Moton said the commission has big plans, plans that Curl had a big part in bringing together.

“He had the experience and the know-how to bring all the commissioners together. And he provided the guidance that we needed to be effective as commissioners,” Moton said.

The Wilcox County Commission met Monday and held a short memorial prior, which Moton said “makes it even tougher.”

Curl also worked as the Rural Transportation Program Director for Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission, and John Clyde Riggs, ATRC executive director described Curl as a man with a “true servants heart.”

“Mark had worked here at Alabama Tombigbee for the past 30 years and was director for the transportation program. He was a person that cared for people, especially those less fortunate than him and was what I would always call a ‘champion for the underdog,’” Riggs said. “He had a true servants heart and will be greatly missed in this community as a leader, and as an employee at this agency and as a friend.”

Riggs said Curl’s legacy will live on, especially in regards to his commission work.

“Mark was able to accomplish a lot of things as county commissioner. He spearheaded several water projects in some of the most rural, remote areas of Wilcox County, and helped those people get running water,” Riggs said. “Mark was a true leader in getting transportation to as many people as possible.

Funeral services for Curl, a resident of Camden, will be held Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. at Gees Bend Ferry Terminal in Camden.

Burial will be in Canton Bend United Methodist Church Cemetery in Camden.

The family will receive friends at the Gees Bend Ferry Terminal from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.

His father, M. Hollis Curl, longtime publisher of the Wilcox Progressive Era, preceded Curl in death.

Curl is survived by his wife, Sandy; three sons and one grandson.

He is also survived by his mother, Glenda Curl and one sister.


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