Daniel L. Currie, Jr., Captain, USN (retired) was born at home in Hamlet, N.C., on August 24th, 1938. His father was Daniel L. Currie, and his mother was Ailcey (Freeman) Currie. He has two siblings, Cecilia Pearl (1942) and Eugene Freeman (1950). When he was 12 years old, his father took a job in Aberdeen, N.C., 30 miles away from Hamlet. They moved to Aberdeen in 1950, and he entered the 6th grade.
After graduation from Aberdeen High, he headed to Chapel Hill to enter the fall class in 1957. The University had awarded him a small self-help scholarship that provided tuition and fees, and a job in Lenoir dining hall that provided meals. The rest was up to him. Despite the work load, he very much enjoyed his four years at Carolina, although he never settled on a major. He graduated in May 1961 and was accepted for employment at the National Security Agency (NSA). Before he left Aberdeen for Fort Meade, Maryland in August, he and Patsy Taylor were engaged. She was the love of his life.
Dan entered the training program at NSA in August and had long range plans for a career there until fate intruded. At that time the draft board was casting a wide net to fill ranks for Vietnam. He was about to be drafted. To forestall becoming an Army “grunt”, he joined the Navy and reported to Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island in the dead of winter. After four grueling months, he was commissioned an ensign in June 1962. Two days after commissioning, he and Patsy were married in Aberdeen. They then set off on an odyssey that would take them all over the world, from Germany to Japan, and from Adak to Oahu in the Pacific, interspersed with lots of time in the Washington, DC area.
His nearly 30 year career was spent in the Naval Security Group (NSG) due to some serendipity. Since his lengthy security clearance for work at NSA had been completed, the Navy saw him as a ready candidate for the NSG, and snapped him up. The NSG and sister services were the collection arm of the NSA. He served at several of the so-called listening posts located around the world including Germany, Adak, Alaska, the Philippines, Okinawa, and Hawaii. These listening posts contained giant antennas that vacuumed up radio emissions from foreign countries. The intercepted radio signals were provided to NSA for analysis and intelligence exploitation. His limited sea duty was spent on aircraft carriers and in submarines. His command tour of duty was as commanding officer of the NSG activity in Okinawa.
He served in the Navy with great joy and pride for nearly 30 years (29 years, 5 months, 22 days) and was quite sad when it came time to retire. His service was enhanced exponentially by his wife, Patsy, who was a wonderful Navy wife. Every three to four years they would pull up stakes and move, and she always was eager to go with a smile on her face. She gladly entertained legions of guests to their home, and was by his side at the many, sometimes boring, social events. She maintained a happy home under often difficult conditions and during his frequent absences. Along the way, she gave him three fine sons who are married to equally fine women. He has five wonderful grandchildren.
They retired to Pensacola, Florida, the closest place to Pacific island weather they could find, hurricanes and all. Dan worked in real estate for five years after retirement. After that, he began volunteer work at the National Museum of Naval Aviation (tour guide and security) and the Pensacola Historic Village (tour guide and archives). They moved to Azalea Trace in March 2013.
A graveside service will be held at 9:30 am, Friday, August 14, 2020 at Barrancas National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate