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Remembering Rick Curry

Sen. Mitch McConnell

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Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to the life and accomplishments of one of the Commonwealth's most outstanding citizens, Mr. Rick Curry, who passed away on November 17, 2010, at the age of 65. Rick made significant contributions to his hometown of Corbin, KY, as an active citizen, an entrepreneur and the coowner of one of Corbin's most popular nightspots and downtown attractions, The Depot on Main restaurant. I am honored to have called him my friend.

Originally from London, KY, Rick graduated from London High School and attended the University of Kentucky before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. After being stationed in Japan and completing his military service, he attended Cumberland College and later became the president of Curry Oil Company in London, and Petro Haulers Inc., a fuel hauling business. Not only was Rick a successful businessman, he was also involved in property development and owned key commercial properties.

Aside from his successful business endeavors, Rick had always dreamed of owning a restaurant. In 2004, he began to make that dream a reality when he purchased and renovated an old department store building in downtown Corbin. This once blighted and vacant building soon turned into a beautiful and thriving restaurant; The Depot on Main. It was Rick's pride and joy.

This renovation was not only significant to Rick personally, but also to the Corbin community. It came at a time when economic vitality was suffering and few people dared to make investments. But Rick did. His investment encouraged business development in downtown Corbin.

Many people who had the privilege of knowing Rick remember the remarkable recovery he made after suffering a stroke in 2007. He handled that crisis, as he did everything else, with such a positive attitude and indomitable spirit. Those qualities, as well as the bonds he forged with so many in the community through his work, through the restaurant and in his life will be what Rick Curry is remembered for.

My thoughts go out to his wife Holly, the citizens of Corbin, and many other beloved friends and family members for their loss. Rick was an upstanding gentleman and an irreplaceable citizen of the Commonwealth. He will be greatly missed.

Mr. President, the Corbin News Journal recently published an article honoring Rick and the legacy he left behind. I ask unanimous consent that the full article be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

To those who knew him best, local businessman Rick Curry was the kind of guy who lived life to the fullest--destined to enjoy every moment he was given. Curry, owner of The Depot on Main restaurant in Corbin, died in the early morning hours last Wednesday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington after suffering a brain aneurysm. He was 65-years-old. ``I can't say enough about Rick and what a good person he was,'' said Bruce Carpenter, Director of Economic Development for Corbin and part owner, along with his wife Teresa, of The Depot on Main with Rick and his wife Holly. ``He was a good- hearted person. He always wanted to have a good time and have fun. I feel so fortunate to have known him the last six years.'' Curry was president of Curry Oil Company, in London, and Petro Haulers Inc., a fuel hauling business. He also was involved in property development and owned key potential commercial properties in London and Corbin. Carpenter said he first met Rick and Holly in 2004, shortly after voters in the city of Corbin approved a measure that allowed that sale of alcoholic beverages at qualifying restaurants in the city limits. Curry always had the dream of owning a nice restaurant and saw opportunity in Corbin. He was one of the first entrepreneurs to take advantage of the new law. Curry purchased the old Daniel's Department Store building and began renovations on what would eventually become The Depot on Main. At the time, Carpenter was beginning a push to create a Main Street Program in Corbin dedicated to revitalizing the city's central business district. ``When I found out what he was doing, I got very excited about it. He was taking an older building and totally renovating it and making it something beautiful. I thought it was a great opportunity to jumpstart downtown,'' Carpenter said. ``It was a tremendous amount of work. He made a big investment in our community. That is what always excited me about Rick was his investment and belief in our downtown.'' Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said news of Curry's death was sad and that the city had lost a valuable advocate and ally. ``He sure took a void on Main Street and turned it into one of the nicest restaurants in this area,'' McBurney said. ``It was a blighted building and he made it something to be proud of. He invested a lot of money into our Main Street. He will be missed.'' Curry told the News Journal that construction of The Depot on Main cost about $800,000. Carpenter said his family and the Curry's became close over the years. In 2007, Curry suffered a serious stroke, but made a remarkable recovery. ``He always had such a positive attitude and a good support system around him. Once he was on the road to recover, I think he just fed off that. He will be greatly missed,'' Carpenter said. According to his obituary, Curry was a London native who attended grade school at Saint William Catholic Church. He graduated from London High School and was a member of the school's football team. While a student at the University of Kentucky be joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Japan. After leaving military service had attended Cumberland College. Funeral arrangements for Curry were handled by House- Rawlings Funeral Home. A celebration of Curry's life was held Saturday at St. William Catholic Church in London.