Archie Joe Gurley III

Commissioner A. Joe Gurley, III

Archie Joe Gurley III

May 21, 60,

Archie Joe Gurley III went to be with his Lord on Thursday, May 21, 2020 while surrounded by his family at home. Wayne County has lost a long-standing civil servant.

Joe was born in Wayne County on August 5, 1959 to the late Archie Joe “John” Gurley, Jr. and Selma Anderson Gurley. He was a lifelong resident of the Oakland Community and served on the Oakland Fire Department for 25 years. Joe had 36 years of service with the County of Wayne before his retirement. He had worked with buildings and grounds, was chief of animal control, served as director of the Office of Emergency Services, and served as the Wayne County Fire Marshall.

Joe lived a life of dedication to his family and friends, and to his community. Since July of 2014, Joe served his community as a County Commissioner for District 4. Joe was appointed as the chairman of the Board from December 2018 through December 2019. Joe was a member of Rosewood First Baptist Church and Wayne Masonic Lodge #112 A.F. & A.M. He was a former board member of the American Red Cross, Wayne County Chapter and was the past chairman of Wayne County Days of Caring. Joe was recognized as the County Department Manager of the Year for his service as the Emergency Services Director and was the recipient of the G. Edgar Summerlin Award for being Wayne County’s Fireman of the Year.

Every life that Joe touched he changed. Most importantly to Joe was his family. Joe worked so hard to make sure his wife and girls were well taken care of. Joe was the best daddy and “sir” who will be truly missed.

A service celebrating Joe’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at The First Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1100 The First Church Road, Goldsboro, with Pastor Mike Collier and Rev. Linda Burroughs officiating. In light of the need for social distancing, the family will greet friends informally following the service in church foyer before leaving for a private interment at Wayne Memorial Park.

Joe is survived by his wife of almost 37 years, Dana Kelly Gurley; daughters, Kelli Bell and husband John of Goldsboro and Kerri Jo Gurley of Goldsboro; granddaughter and the apple of his eye, Averi Bell; and sister, Evonne Milkovits and husband Johnny of Goldsboro

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given in his memory to Rosewood First Baptist Church, 562 NC Hwy. 581 South, Goldsboro, NC 27530 or to the Word Church/House of Fordham, 500 N. William Street, Goldsboro, NC 27530.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at