W. "Jack" L. Hurley

August 1, 1926January 3, 2014

Jack Hurley died peacefully at his home on January 3, 2014 amongst his books and loved ones. He is survived by his brother Joe Hurley (Betty Jean), daughter Leslie Black (Rob) and his son, Lee Hurley (Anne), 6 grandchildren, Mary Claire Rushin (Will) Robin Black, Hurley Spraggins, Anne Campbell Black, Brit Hurley and William Hurley as well several wonderful nieces and nephews. Jack is predeceased by his wife, Mary Bell, as well as his brother Jim, and sisters Nell and Louise. He was the fourth child of Cora Lawes and Henry Lee Hurley from Gainesville, Georgia. After High School in Montgomery, Alabama Jack became a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army where he was shipped off to Germany near the end of World War II. Among many memories two stood out for him; marching his platoon into the side of the barracks and accidentally shooting a cow who did not properly respond to the orders of HALT. Later Jack completed Officer Candidate School and served stateside as a First Lieutenant. After the Army, Hurley attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery as a result of the GI Bill and began working in the trust department of First National Bank of Montgomery. Later he completed the Stonier Graduate School of Banking Trust Division at Rutgers University and two years at the Birmingham School of Law. In 1951, he began working for the U.S. Treasury Department as an assistant national Bank Examiner and rose to the level of National Bank Examiner in the 6th Federal Reserve District. In 1958, he took a position as Trust Officer of Exchange Security Bank in Birmingham, Alabama in order to establish the Trust Division and in 1977, became President and Chief Executive Officer of First Alabama Bank formerly known as Exchange Security Bank. In 1984, he was named Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. In 1990, he retired from banking and began the second phase of his life as a professional grandfather, devoted husband, avid golfer, frequent traveler, and singer of Irish ballads. Jack was active in serving his community including Director, Hill Crest Foundation; Director, Conference of Christians and Jews; Chairman of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; Board of Trustees Southern Research Institute; Chairman, Birmingham Chapter Red Cross; Director, Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce; President Birmingham Festival of Arts; President, United Cerebral Palsy of Birmingham and President, Alabama Symphony Association among several other nonprofits. He was also a founding member of the Birmingham Community Foundation. In addition to the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Jack was elected a member of the Alabama Academy of Honor as well as President Alabama Bankers Association and director Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He was also a director of the Dravo Corporation, the Bank New East in North Carolina and Board member of the Association of Bank Holding Companies. Jack met one of his best friends through teaching, Glenn Helms from North Carolina. Jack and Glenn were part time instructors from 1978 until 1983 at the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking of the South. His memberships included the Country Club of Birmingham, Willow Point, Shoal Creek, The Club and as he was proud of mentioning, Costco. He was a loving and loyal companion to his wife Mary throughout their 53 year marriage. Their combined sense of humor kept them together and on their toes. He was an avid reader, a keen writer, a good cook and a collector of stories. His sense of humor held reverence for none but his kindness and compassion was legendary and tempered his wit. The essence of Jack is scattered amidst his love of reading, basketball, gardening, poetry, music and jokes. He was a man whose actions mirrored his words; quick to laugh and quick to share credit. The memory of his luminous loving heart will be held close by his friends and family as they grieve their loss and continue on their journey. A memorial service will be held at St. Stephens Episcopal Church on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any remembrances be sent to PreSchool Partners who is building a new school to serve 100 needy children. Donations can be made online at or mailed to PreSchool Partners 3736 Montrose Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35213.


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, January 8, 2014

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