Date of death: 10/5/2011

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1977

John P. Hurley, 60, died Oct. 5, 2011, at his home off Trunk Road near Palmer.He came to Alaska 30 years ago and worked in construction projects all across the state. Thanks to his enviable carpentry skills, he and his tools traveled to many far-flung places over the years, including Shemya, Kotzebue, Fort Yukon, Denali National Park, Cordova, Hawaii and Japan, not to mention his work on projects for friends and family in places like Indiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Seward, Anchorage and throughout the Mat-Su Valley.John will always be remembered for his beautiful smile and his love of music and laughter. Those closest to him need only look at the craftsmanship he left in their homes to remind them of what a true artist he was. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Ind., John graduated from high school there in 1969 and attended college at Saint Meinrad before eventually leaving his home state and striking out on his own. At that point, he began capitalizing on construction skills his father had taught him. Starting as a house painter in Colorado, it wasn’t long before John donned a tool belt and worked as a finish carpenter and tile setter.He also lived in Oregon before heading to Alaska in 1981 to join some friends who assured him he would have no trouble finding employment. John found work everywhere he went while constantly expanding his circle of friends.There are many who will miss his genuine smile and love of laughter, including his mother and older sister in Indiana, his brother in Tennessee, his younger sister in California, his nieces and nephews, and that circle of friends scattered far and near.From the Frontiersman and IndyStar Newspapers.