Walter “Doc” Hurley, a local legend who started a scholarship fund that helped hundreds of students with college expenses, has passed away at 91, according to statements from the governor’s office and Hartford schools.
The Hartford Courant reports that he was 91 years old.
“There are hundreds of people from throughout the Hartford area whose lives were transformed because of the higher education opportunities that Doc Hurley brought to their lives over the past several decades. He was one of the most passionate voices for Hartford and its residents, respected by all, and brought such positive energy to generations of residents. Both students and adults admired his spirit and enthusiasm, and he brought hope to many. He truly is a Hartford legend and is proof that one person can make a lasting, positive impact,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement.
Hurley attended Weaver High School in the late 1930s, lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track, graduated from Virginia State University and went on to become a teacher and basketball coach in the Portsmouth, Virginia school system.
In 1959, he returned to Hartford.
n 1975, Hurley organized the "Doc" Hurley Scholarship Basketball Classic as a way to encourage Hartford's young men and women to stay in high school and then go on to college with the help of scholarships.
In 1984, he retired as vice principal of Weaver High School, after nearly 20 years of service, but remained as involved.
“The Hartford Public Schools community is deeply saddened by the loss of Walter “Doc” Hurley and shares in his family’s grief during this difficult period. At the same time, we want to honor the memory of a larger-than-life Hartford icon who embodied all that is good about Weaver High School,” Hartford Supt. Christina Kishimoto said in a statement.
“’Doc’ Hurley WAS Weaver High School. He valued education every bit as much as he valued athletics,” Kishimoto said. “Although we will miss “Doc” Hurley, we are comforted by the legacy of service to our students that he leaves behind.”