It was my pleasure to attend the Norman Rotary Club’s noon meeting last Thursday when it honored two esteemed area physicians, both of whom are Purcell High School graduates.
Introduced by long-time Transcript journalist Andy Rieger, Dr. Rick McCurdy and his cousin Dr. Bill McCurdy were honored by the club as non-Rotarian Paul Harris Fellows.
Rick and Bill were joined at the Rotary Club meeting by their wives, Carole and Anne.
Rick and Bill are two of six McCurdy family members who are or have been physicians dating back to 1903 when Bill’s grandfather William C. McCurdy Sr. tackled the profession in Wheatland, OK and later in Purcell.
Bill’s father, William C. McCurdy, Jr. practiced in Purcell and was the first to work at the McCurdy Hospital, what is now the McClain County Bank Drive-thru and McClain County Historical Society.
The McCurdy Clinic was constructed in the early 1940s.
Rick’s uncle Bob and son, Jay, both practiced in Colorado.
The retired Dr. Bill, a 1957 PHS graduate, was presented the Physician of the Year-Private Practice award in 2019 by The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Alumni Association.
After Dr. Bill graduated from medical school and residency, he went to Vietnam, where he served as chief of surgery.
Returning home, he established his general surgery practice in Norman and also went to his father's practice in Purcell once a week to perform surgeries.
Altogether, he practiced medicine 40 years. His cousin, Rick, joined him for 27 of those years and continues that surgical practice today.
The two outstanding physicians have cared for several generations of families in Norman and Purcell.
“He was my hero growing up across the street from him in Purcell,” Rick once said.
Rick, a 1961 PHS graduate, is considered by many to be one of the greatest athletes in Purcell High School history.
He was All-State in basketball and football. He played defensive end, tight end and punted for the Oklahoma Sooners under legendary coach Bud Wilkinson.
He was named All-Big 8 Conference for his defensive end play in 1964.
He played in the All-American Coaches game after his senior year and was drafted by the New York Jets.
He still holds the PHS school record in the 880 yard dash with a time of 1:58.2.
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