Robert “Bob” Amburn Gourley ’48

Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, saw the passing of another of the Greatest Generation, World War II Veteran Robert “Bob” Amburn Gourley of Marion.

Bob was born in Greer, S.C., Dec. 14, 1924, to the late James Lee Gourley and Nora Brooks Gourley.

He graduated from Marion High School in 1940 where he was selected for the Honor Society. He entered Davidson College in 1941, but World War II interrupted college. Bob enlisted in the Army Air Force and became a fighter pilot. He was stationed in Iwo Jima flying from Iwo to Japan. Bob attained the rank of captain.

After he was discharged from the Air Force, he continued to attend Davidson College graduating in 1948 with a B.A. in music. He taught music in Valdese for several years and then was associated with Marion Buick Company until retirement.

Bob was choir director at First Presbyterian Church for 30-plus years. He was a past master of the Masonic Lodge and past president of the Kiwanis Club and had 41 years perfect attendance. He was a member of the Marion Lake Club for about 70 years, where he enjoyed playing golf. Bob enjoyed going on many cruises with his family and friends visiting many countries.

Bob was preceded in death by his first wife, Kathryn Ballew Gourley; and a brother, James Lee Gourley Jr.

He is survived by his second wife of 42 years, Edna Seaman Gourley; three children, Robert A. Gourley Jr. (Cathy) of Newport News, Va., John B. Gourley (Debbie) of Greensboro, and Ellen G. Mitchell (Jeff) of Hickory; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends at Westmoreland Funeral Home, Thursday, Sept. 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held Friday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church, conducted by the Revs. George Hutchins and Robert Warren. Interment will follow the service at Oak Grove Cemetery with the U.S. Air Force providing military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 79 Academy St., Marion, NC 28752.

The family would like to thank Dr. Mark Burton for his care for these many years, and all the healthcare providers for the past several months.

Published by The McDowell News on Sep. 7, 2021.