Fr. Richard Curry, S.J., professor of Catholic studies and theater and founder of Dog Tag Bakery, died from heart failure Dec. 20 at the age of 72. Curry worked at Georgetown for 10 years.
Curry also served as director of the Academy for Veterans, a program that serves to assist veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who have been disabled in the line of duty with emotional rehabilitation, employment assistance and other services.
Dog Tag Bakery, which he founded in December 2014, seeks to employ veterans and their spouses while teaching tangible business skills. The bakery also has a partnership with the Georgetown School of Continuing Studies to offer employees night courses in small-business administration and entrepreneurship.
Curry said in a 2014 article in The Hoya [“Bakery Prepares for Launch,” The Hoya, Nov. 14, 2014] that the bakery offers veterans the chance to pursue their dreams.
“Everyone should make the most of this opportunity. All of you veterans have great business ideas and you may find someone here with a similar idea and the means with which to make your dream come true,” Curry said.
Before joining Georgetown, Curry founded both the National Theater Workshop of the Handicapped, which offered disabled individuals the chance to perform, and the Belson Bakery Training School, which serves to teach disabled individuals how to bake and work at the bakery. Curry is also the author of two cookbooks.
Curry was well known at Georgetown for his unique “Theater and the Catholic Imagination” class, which served to teach expression and culminated with a tap-dance performance around campus, including in O’Donovan Hall and the Intercultural Center.
Rev. Joseph E. Lingan, S.J., wrote in a campus-wide email Dec. 21 that Curry’s religious and charitable work came hand in hand.
“Fr. Curry’s work with bread, soups, and desserts was an outward manifestation of his inner hunger for the Lord,” Lingan wrote in the email. “He sought to share that hunger with others, and to help others satisfy such hunger through an encouragement to deepen one’s faith by stretching one’s imagination and heart.”
Curry said in an article in Saint Joseph’s University magazine that faith is what allowed him to be successful in life.
“At six because of my arm, I was told I could not be a soldier. I could not be a priest. I could not be a doctor,” Curry said. “Well, I have a doctorate, I’m a priest and I’m working with the military. I think that’s proof that it’s not smart to circumscribe God.”
Curry received the Distinguished Service Award of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities in 1987, and received 25 honorary degrees from universities and colleges, including Georgetown University and Fordham University.
The New York Times, The Boston Globe and the Washington Post all published obituaries for Curry.
Curry earned a Ph.D. in theater from New York University in 1977, a M.A. in theater from Villanova University, and his undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s University.
A memorial mass for Curry will be held on Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in Dahlgren Chapel. Full obituary to come.