Whenever Northeast Georgia History Center executive director Glen Kyle goes back through the files, it’s hard not to stumble upon the work left behind by Steve Gurr.
“Whether he brought in stuff that he had collected about local history or notes he had taken about something, it’s still there. I used to tell him, ‘When I grow up, I want to be just like him,’” Kyle said.
Gurr, 78, of Gainesville, died Friday, March 20, after a brief illness, according to his obituary.
He and Kenneth Coleman co-edited “The Dictionary of Georgia Biography,” and Gurr was an editor of “The New Georgia Guide.”
Gurr was instrumental in the growth of the Northeast Georgia History Center, Kyle said.
“I noticed how everyone respected him and listened when he talked. He definitely knew his stuff. He was a historian’s historian. He came up under the tutelage of some of the best Georgia historians and had made his own mark when he got his Ph.D,” he said.
Gurr earned his Ph.D. at the University of Georgia with a concentration on Georgia colonial history.
Gurr was a professor of history and dean of students at what was formerly known as Gainesville College, and he retired in 1994.
Kyle and Gurr first met at the history center in the late 2000s, as the esteemed historian played a great role in helping the center get started and move forward.
“He knew how to talk to people about history and how to make it interesting and important, and he did that almost in a different way with every person or every group of people he met. He could just read how to connect with them. He not only was this incredible vast storehouse of knowledge, but it wasn’t dry, dusty knowledge. He knew how to bring it alive for every age group and every type of interest,” Kyle said.
Outside of the world of history, Gurr was known for his car collecting. He was also a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church.
According to the obituary, there will be a private burial at Ellaville Cemetery, with a celebration of life at a time in the future.
Memorial Park Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.