Richard Allen Currie, MD, a longtime resident of Columbia, Maryland, died peacefully at his home on October 12, 2021. He was ninety six years old.
Dr. Currie was born in Montreal, Canada, the son of Homer Lindsay Currie and Mildred Allene Clinch Currie. After growing up in the Mount Royal area of Montreal, he completed both his undergraduate and medical school degrees at McGill University in Montreal. He then moved to the United States for his residency in general surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA where he met and married his wife, Elizabeth Jones Currie. Upon completion of his residency, he decided to practice general surgery in the US, and moved to Augusta, GA where he served as a surgeon in the US Army.
Notably, Dr. Currie was the Associate Chief of Surgery at the Miners Memorial Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, treating patients with black lung disease. He then moved to Morgantown, WV where he was an Attending Surgeon at the West Virginia University Medical Center, as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Medical School. In 1970, Dr. Currie joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University Medical School, moving his family to Columbia, Maryland. As Associate Professor of Surgery he spent half his time teaching medical students and treating patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the other half acting as Chief of Surgery at the newly formed Columbia Medical Plan, a pre-paid health plan sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 1973, Howard County General Hospital was built, and he served as the first Chief of Surgery from 1974 to 1980. He continued to practice general surgery at Howard County General Hospital for 22 years until his retirement in 1995.
In Dr. Currie's fifty one years in Columbia, MD, he has been remembered fondly by countless patients and coworkers. His career also included international assignments as a volunteer surgeon. Through the American Medical Association, he went to Vietnam during the war in the 1960’s to care for Vietnamese civilians. After retiring, he accepted a three month medical assignment in Sri Lanka through Doctors Without Borders. Additionally, in Maryland he donated time weekly to Baltimore's Shepherd's Clinic and Columbia's Health Alliance Clinic for many years. He also volunteered on the Admissions Committee for the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, interviewing prospective medical students.
For much of his adult life, and especially in retirement, Richard Currie was an avid woodworker, as were his father and grandfather. He made exceptional furniture, Windsor chairs, and jewelry boxes. He won many blue ribbons at the Howard County Fair and enjoyed participating in the Howard County Woodworkers Guild.
His wife, Elizabeth Jones Currie, RN, passed away in 2011. "Liz" was remembered in the community as a school nurse at Wilde Lake High School, and as a public health nurse for Howard County. Together they raised five children: Richard Currie (wife Jean Wisenbaugh Currie) of Santa Fe, NM; Roger Currie of Nashville, TN; Sarah Currie Aldrich (husband Steve Aldrich) of Houston, TX; Peter Currie of Columbia, MD; and Andrew Currie (wife Karen VanderClock Currie) of Ellicott City, MD. He is also survived by six grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and his sister Ruth Currie Knights, as well as five nephews and a niece.
Memorial services for Richard Currie will be held in Maynard, Massachusetts and New Brunswick, Canada at a later time.