Charles William (Charlie) McLurkin, 88, of Newburgh died on Monday September 13, 2021. He was born on May 4, 1933 in Chester County, South Carolina to the late Charles Andrew and Eliza (Branham) McLurkin. The family moved from South Carolina to Hedgesville, WV in 1935 and settled into their mother’s family home. This is where Charlie graduated from elementary and high school. He graduated from Hedgesville High School on May 24, 1951 at the height of the Korean War and 14 days later enlisted in the US Navy. He was promoted to Petty Officer 2nd Class in 1954 and on June 7, 1955, he received an honorable discharge.
Charlie enrolled as a student at Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, WV under the GI Bill of Rights and began classes in September 1955. He had been introduced to Teresa Helen Fellers by his sister Florence and they were married on the 25th. August 1956. He received a Bachelor of Science degree on June 2, 1968 and was named an outstanding student in biology. He applied for and got a post of graduate assistant at Marshall College in Huntington, WV. Teresa worked in the Dean’s Office until the birth of their first child (Cynthia Brice) in February. He graduated with a master’s degree in biological sciences on July 17, 1959, and immediately accepted an offer from the FDA as a GS-7 food and drug inspector. The FDA district office was in Cincinnati and covered Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, which caused it to travel about 50 percent of the time. Their second daughter (Mary Beth) was born in September 1960. Shortly after, he was promoted to FDA Food and Drug Inspector GS-9.
On May 11, 1962, Charlie joined Mead Johnson and Company as Associate Scientist, Quality Control and began a career spanning over thirty-one years with the Mead Johnson / Bristol Myers Squibb group of companies. His first assignment was as a company representative in a contractor’s manufacturer’s factory in Springfield, MO.
In July 1962, the family moved from Cincinnati to Springfield, where they lived for almost five years. They bought their first home and their sons were born in Springfield (William Andrew in September 1962 and John Douglas in 1965). He then accepted a new position as Supervisor, International Manufacturing Services, and the family moved to Evansville, IN in March 1967. That year Charlie made his first overseas business trip to Belgium, France. and in Germany. Teresa hosted her first dinner that year with international guests. There would be many more of these same activities in the years to come. At the end of 1968, Mead Johnson Company merged with Bristol-Myers Company.
Following a business reorganization, Charlie transferred to Bristol-Myers’ international division in Syracuse, NY as Deputy Director of Quality Control. The family moved to Manlius, NY in 1969 and they stayed there until their children graduated and left home. He has held several management positions in quality assurance in Bristol-Myers companies (International Division and International Group). In 1989 Bristol-Myers merged with Squibb and their international group was eliminated. He had the opportunity to end his career in Evansville, IN. They moved and he retired on January 15, 1993 at age 59, working almost 31 years with the company.
Charlie has lived in 6 states (South Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana and New York). The combination of business and personal travel has allowed him to roam all 7 continents and visit over 50 countries and sleep in over 30 states. After his retirement, he took a keen interest in genealogy and in 2006 published a hardcover book, “McLurkin / Fellers Family History”.
He was a member of the Newburgh Presbyterian Church and the American Legion Post # 44.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Teresa (Fellers) McLurkin of Newburgh; sons, John McLurkin of Newburgh and Andrew McLurkin of Raleigh, North Carolina; daughters, Cynthia (McLurkin) Williford of Melbourne, FL and Mary Beth (McLurkin) Fletcher of Elgin, IL; eight grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and her sister, Margaret (McLurkin) Stelle of Georgetown, TX.
A funeral service was held at noon on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at Alexander Newburgh Chapel, 5333 State Road 261, with the final resting place at Rose Hill Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to Warrick Humane Society, Newburgh, IN. Condolences can be presented online at www.AlexanderNewburghChapel.com.