William O. McCurdy III
December 31, 1937 – April 27, 2019
Dr. William "Bill" O. McCurdy III, the Pecan Park Eagle himself, soared into the heavens on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the age of 81. He was born in Beeville, TX, on Friday, December 31, 1937, and grew up in Houston's East End where he became a passionate lover of baseball, playing the game in a sandlot known as Pecan Park with a group of neighborhood kids, forming the Pecan Park Eagles, and later became a baseball historian, publishing 3 books on the sport, and writing a popular baseball-oriented blog under the old Pecan Park Eagle moniker. He attended St. Christopher's Catholic School, and graduated from St. Thomas High School. He achieved his baccalaureate degree in psychology from the University of Houston, his Master's in Psychology from Tulane University, and his Doctorate from the University of Texas in 1975. He practiced psychotherapy for over 50 years, changing numerous lives by counseling couples, helping individuals sort out their issues, helping broken hearts heal, and preventing suicides. Bill was a gentle soul who touched many lives as a psychotherapist and humanitarian, a man who always encouraged others to follow their passions, explore their individuality, and to take personal responsibility in life, a loving and devoted husband, an ever-present, loving and caring father to his only son, as well as countless others who looked up to him as a father figure, and a spiritual being who believed God is love. He leaves behind his loving wife of 33 years, Norma S. McCurdy. Dr. McCurdy also leaves behind a son, Casey McCurdy; a future daughter-in-law (his son's fiancée), Keighley Westhaver; a brother, John Carroll McCurdy; a nephew, Daniel McCurdy; and nieces, Jennifer McCurdy and Emily McCurdy. He is preceded in death by his father, William O. McCurdy, Jr. (1994); mother, Doris Teas McCurdy (1994); sister, Margery Ruth McCurdy (2018); and sister-in-law, Linda McCurdy. Visitation will be held at Forest Park Lawndale, 6900 Lawndale Ave., Houston, TX, 77023 in the Colonial Chapel on Sunday, May 5 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Rosary services will be officiated by Deacon Dale Steffes of St. John Vianney Catholic Parish. The Funeral Service Blessing will also be held in the same chapel by the same officiant on Monday, May 6 at 11 am with an interment service following
- Visitation Sunday, May 5, 2019
- Rosary Service Sunday, May 5, 2019
- Funeral Service Monday, May 6, 2019
- Committal Service Monday, May 6, 2019
William O. McCurdy III
June 5, 2019
Bill and I knew each other at Tulane U and shared our dear friends Joanne Yoder and Roberta Knopfer from those days. Joanne too has left us, always feels too soon, and Roberta would so like to be in contact with Bill's loving wife. Roberta would love a phone call if possible.
My very best to Bill's loving family,
Virginia Mahan, Houston
May 6, 2019
Dear Norma & Casey,
Although no words can really help to ease the loss you bear, just know that you are very close in every thought and prayer. I admired Dr. McCurdy for his strength of character and his faith. I will continue to be inspired by the actions he took and the things he said while he was alive. He will live in my memories.
I am praying for you to have peace and strength at this time. You have my deepest sympathies.
April 30, 2019
I consider myself so lucky to have known him.
Ave atque vale.
April 30, 2019
Bill was an amazing researcher and baseball historian, but what differentiated his Pecan Park Eagle blog from so many other baseball blogs was his insights into all aspects of life and his frequent interactions with readers in the comment section. I looked forward to every new post and left many a comment because the subject matter was often compelling. I will miss the new posts and the interaction between all readers and Bill.
I only met Bill in person once, when the local SABR chapter went to a Skeeters game a few years ago, but it was a pleasure to speak with him in person and to be introduced to his good friend and former Houston Buffalo/St. Louis Cardinal Larry Miggins.
In spite of the fact that I didn't know Bill well, I could see what type of person he was and, when I needed someone with his knowledge who could provide assistance with a personal matter, I reached out to him. Bill immediately jumped into action to provide the information and help that I needed. He was exactly the kind of person I had judged him to be: one of the good guys.
Maxwell Kates applied a great quote from Jackie Robinson to Bill. I, too, am reminded of something that another baseball great, Roberto Clemente, often said: "If you have an opportunity to help somebody else and you don't take it, then you are wasting your time on this earth." I don't think that Dr. Bill McCurdy ever wasted a single day.
May he rest in peace. And my condolences to the family and also to all others who will feel the void that Bill's passing leaves in their lives.
April 29, 2019
It was indeed an honour to have been a friend and colleague of Bill McCurdy's. Bill's knowledge of Texas history, especially sports, was boundless, which he promoted through SABR, the Houston Babies, the Pecan Park Eagle, and several books he authored. Bill was also legendary for his sense of compassion and his acceptance of others. Jackie Robinson once stated that "a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Bill McCurdy leaves a great impact and earned the respect and admiration of all those fortunate to have known him.
Maxwell I. Kates, CPA, CA
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
April 29, 2019
Sorry to hear the news that one of my great friends has passed away. We were classmates at St.Thomas high school. (class o f 1956)
Bill and I visited very often the last few years. He was insistent almost that I should be inducted into the STHS SPORTS HOF. He worked long and hard on this until his wish was fulfilled.
But more important than this we were sort of a sounding board for each other on many topics of the day. We didn't always agree, but so be it.
Once again I am sorry to hear of Bills death and he and his family are in my prayers.
April 29, 2019
This is just a thought from Italy.
I "met" HoustonBuff on a baseball forum in the mid 90s, during the Bagwell and Biggio era.
I remember well his interesting baseball posts but also, his interesting considerations about almost everything, from sport to politicics, from jokes to serious things. In a word, about life.
There was a long distance between us, I mean, I live in Italy and I've never been to the United States, so different cultures, different experiences, and different ways to love the National Passtime. Also, a different age. But believe me, even from those posts Bill wrote on the forum, I learnt something.
Time has gone and I'm still a Houston Astros fan. I still stay up at night trying to follow the games. There's no more AFN broadcast on the radio, but the internet.
And from time to time, while listening to baseball games, I think about those years when I was 'gmjp' on that forum, and Bill was 'a virtual, special friend'.
I'm thankful for those days, for that experience I lived.
This morning, I saw the picture on Astrosdaily, which is a website I visit almost everyday, and my mind went back 20 years in a second.
I couldn't imagine that the feeling could have been so strong.
That means that HoustonBuff really left a great sign deep into my heart and my memory.
I can say that to me, he is a part of The Game. The game he loved, the game he taught me to love.
Thank you Bill. You're in my prayers, and your family and friends are in my prayers too.
Beppe - Italy
April 28, 2019
I am so grateful I got to know Bill McCurdy through The Pecan Park Eagle. He was a wonderful man and an amazing historian of Houston's sports history, especially baseball. Although not related to Bill, I feel as if I have lost a member of my own family. He was one of God's better efforts. Requiescat in pace.