James Herbert Gurley, age 60 of Bethalto died at 12:45 pm on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at his residence. He was born October 12, 1949 in East Alton to the late Raymond Wayne and Elizabeth F. (Nation) Gurley. He retired in 2005 after 35 years of service with the Alton Community School District #11 where he worked in the plumbing and maintenance shop. He served 20 years in the U.S. Army, serving first in Vietnam and then a tour in Desert Storm with the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a Sergeant First Class. He was a member of Wood River VFW Post 2859, where he served as senior vice president. He was also a member of Alton American Legion Post 126 and Alton Eagles Lodge Foe No 254. He has been married 41 years to the former Alice (Basden) Gurley. Besides his wife he is survived by one daughter; Lisa M.(Gurley) Lyerla and her husband Len E. Cummings of Bethalto, one son; Michael R. Gurley of Bethalto. Eight grandchildren; Kenneth James Wayne "KJ" Lyerla, Myranda Marie Elizabeth Lyerla, Ethan Michael Gurley, Morgan Elizabeth Lansdon, Elizabeth Marie Gurley, Trinity Nichole Gurley, Nicki and Jacob Cummings. Two great grandchildren, two brothers Joe Purcell of Alton and Lowell Gurley of Florida and one sister, Barb Meyers of East Alton. Besides his parents he is preceded in death by one brother; John Gurley and two sisters; Marcella Smith and Mary Agnes Parrett. Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at Gent Funeral Home in Alton where funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Thursday with Pastor Mike Paddock to officiate. Burial will be at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto with full military honors by VFW Post 1308 of Alton. Memorials may be made to Wood River VFW Post 2859. Online guest book may be found at www.gentfuneralhome.com.
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