Wanda McCurdy enjoys her life in Spring Garden
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Jul 25, 2013 | 1523 views |  0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wanda McCurdy would like to still be working, but she’s not. She’s on disability, having to leave the working world because of issues with her heart. Wanda worked at Garcy Corporation for 32 years where she did a little bit of everything. She started working in the lock department and later moved into the payroll department, where she stayed until her medical condition became so severe.

In February 2010, she entered the hospital for a heart catheterization one day. The next thing she knew she was undergoing emergency surgery. Four bypasses were done. Two of them failed and had to be redone.

During the surgery, she had a heart attack and her heart stopped beating for 30 minutes. She stayed in intensive care for 30 days.

Wanda believes that God is not finished with her yet. “I am a miracle”, she said. “I’m so thankful every day that I lived. I’m not back 100 percent yet. I can’t walk very well any more. I have to use a wheelchair if I go anywhere.”

She didn’t drive for two years and drives now only when it’s necessary.

“I still have damage in my legs,” she said. “The doctor said he had to do unconventional procedures during the surgery, which caused extensive nerve damage in my leg. The doctor thought it might heal over time, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m not giving up hope.”

About a year after the surgery, she was visiting her son in Birmingham when she learned that an electrical fire had destroyed her home. Her husband, Pat, had to be taken to the hospital because of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. After a short stay, he was released and they began rebuilding their lives in a new home.

Wanda said that Pat also has heart problems.

“We’re thankful to God, our church, family and friends,“ she said. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here. We’re blessed to have them and to be surrounded by the beauty in Spring Garden. Sitting on our porch, we can see Frog Mountain. We’re thankful that God has been so good to us.”

The McCurdys are members of Carmel Community Church in Spring Garden. Wanda was born and grew up in the Piedmont area. She graduated from Spring Garden High School. Her parents are the late Alfred and Mamie (Mallows) Tierce.

She and Pat have three children. Barbara Lane and her husband Billy and David McCurdy and his wife Sheila all live in Piedmont. Todd Keasler splits his time between Birmingham and caring for Wanda and Pat at their home in Spring Garden.

The McCurdys’ grandchildren are Priscilla McCurdy of Jacksonville and Justin McCurdy and Wade Horne of Piedmont. They have two chosen grandchildren, Nicolas and Kaden Tierce of Ellisville.

Wanda has enjoyed genealogy since her son was born. She has researched her mother’s side of the family back to the 1800s in Garboldisham, England, and her father’s back to the 1700s in Ireland.

She loves to entertain and try out new recipes on her guests. Wanda said she is grateful to still be able to cook for her family and friends.

“Our house has always been like Grand Central Station,” she said.

Wanda said when she first married, the only food she could prepare came from a box or a can. Now, she is creating new dishes and reinventing old recipes. Whenever Wanda is asked, “Who has inspired your cooking the most?” The answer is always the same, “Rose Tierce and Paula Deen.”

While the latter is self-explanatory, the former is her sister-in-law who came from the island of Guam along with a lot of unique and delicious recipes.

The following recipes are some of her family’s favorites, two of which came from her sister-in- law.

Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com.


Kadon Manoc "KADO"

Guamanian Chicken Soup
4 chicken breasts
2 T. butter
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
½ t. garlic powder
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 c. potatoes, cut in large cubes
1 medium cabbage, cut into wedges
1 can coconut milk

In a Dutch oven, saute chicken in butter, salt, pepper and garlic. Add celery, onions and potatoes, then cover with water. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add cabbage ad soy sauce. Cook until cabbage is tender. Add coconut milk. Turn off heat and let rest for 30 minutes. Serve over cooked rice.

Meat Loaf

2 lb. ground chuck
1 small onion, chopped fine
½ c. bell pepper, chopped fine
½ c. carrots, chopped fine
1 pkg. Lipton onion mushroom soup mix
1 ½ c. bread crumbs
1 T. self-rising flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
½ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
½ t. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredient thoroughly. Form into loaf and bake one hour. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Jerome Cookies

Cookie Mix

1 box graham crackers
1 ½ sticks butter
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 c. coconut
½ c. evaporated milk


2 c. powdered sugar
½ stick butter
3 T. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ c. coconut

Cookie Mix Directions

Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with whole graham crackers. In a boiler, melt 1 ½ sticks butter, add granulated sugar and set aside. Beat egg and ½ c. evaporated milk and add to butter/sugar mixture. Bring the above to a boil stirring constantly for one minutes. Add 1 c. coconut and 1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs to the above mixture. Pour over whole graham crackers in the 9x13 pan. Add another layer of whole graham crackers.

Icing Directions

Melt ½ stick of butter and add powdered sugar and milk. Spread on top of cookie mix with coconut. Cool and cut into squares.

White Chocolate Confetti Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 T. milk
1 c. macadamia nuts, optional
½ c. red candied cherries, chopped
½ c. green candied cherries, chopped
½ c. candied pineapple, chopped
1 ½ c. white chocolate bark, broken into small chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and set aside. Sift 2 1/2 c. flour, soda and salt together and add to the above mixture. Use ½ c. flour to coat the nuts, fruit and white chocolate and add to the above. Stir to mix and drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, two inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

Created by Wanda McCurdy and Iris Poppell
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Wanda McCurdy enjoys her life in Spring Garden by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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