Michael Caldwell Hurst, 51, of Sewanee, Tennessee, died Saturday, February 13, 2016, after a short illness. He is survived by his wife, Joan, nee Keeton, and one daughter, Catherine Finn, brothers Will Hurst and Tom Hurst, both of Louisville, Kentucky, one sister, Lucy Hurst Erhbar, of Brooklyn, New York, and by many nieces and nephews.
Michael was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. A 1988 graduate of the University of the South, Michael engaged in the ownership of three Papa John’s pizza franchises before selling and relocating from Louisville to Sewanee where he lived the past ten years.
Michael was active in the Sewanee community serving on the board of the Historical Society and serving as an all-around delightful raconteur and outstanding host. Whether holding court on his front porch or from his favorite living room chair, Michael was always a pleasure to be with. He often described himself as “a computer that doodles” by which he meant that he was possessed of a large amount of information and knowledge but most of it was not practically useful. Despite this humility Michael was very practically useful especially at changing light bulbs and watching the washing machine spin. (“Wait for it. Wait for it. There! It just spun around and the wash flopped again.”)
Michael had a serious side, too, and many turned to him not only for a laugh or good story but also for serious advice in all areas of life. In this, Michael was also a source of strength and wisdom to any and all who sought his assistance.
Michael was a loyal and active member of the Chi Psi Fraternity both at the local and national level. He served on the local board of directors for almost two decades and oversaw much of the maintenance of the local Lodge. He also volunteered to help other local chapters of the Fraternity. Nationally, he served for a period on the Fraternity’s board of directors and served as Chairman of the board for most of that time. Under his tenure many advances were made in the Fraternity’s operations and programs. For his service, Chi Psi’s highest recognition was conferred upon him in 2007 when he received Distinguished Service Award number 130. One of his fondest wishes for his life would undoubtedly be that he left the world a better place by helping to nurture hundreds of young fraternity men.
Michael was also an animal lover and will be sorely missed by his dog, Luke, and his cats, Camille, Lilly, Schmudgy-Woo-Woo, Go-Go, Blanche, and Beans (the only male cat who recently sneaked in under false pretenses).
Michael was a Colonel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a fact in which he took great pride.
Services will be held at the University of the South’s All Saints Chapel on February 20, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Members of Chi Psi Fraternity should gather at 10:30 a.m. in Convocation Hall for the Fraternity Memorial Service.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Chi Psi Educational Trust.
Michael was a big man: Big Hearted, with a Big Laugh, and a Big Love of his family and friends. He will be missed.