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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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GOP fundraiser's son was known for his warmth, humor
The cause of death for Clifton "Trey" Curry III, 20, remains unknown.
By Saundra Amrhein, Times Staff Writer
Published March 4, 2008
VALRICO - Maybe it was the way he wrapped someone in one of his famous bear hugs.
Or the time he cracked up all the other kids by donning his mom's dress and heels.
Relatives and friends of Clifton "Trey" Curry III will recall their favorite stories today at a memorial service for the 20-year-old son of a prominent Republican fundraiser. Curry was found dead Saturday morning in his bedroom at his parents' home following a night out with his father that began at a Rotary function.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating, but the cause of death remained unknown Monday pending toxicology tests, officials said.
Trey Curry was found by his mother, who checked on him at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. It appears he fell out of bed, she said.
He was lying facedown in his boxer shorts, his left arm having broken the glass in a nearby gun case, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office.
Trey was the middle of three children, a 2006 graduate of Newsome High School and enrolled at Hillsborough Community College.
"He was just a great big teddy bear of a young man, just full of life and love for people," Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder said Monday.
Holder was a law school classmate of Trey's father and took family trips with the Curry family to football games and on fishing and diving excursions.
Trey's father, Clif Curry, is a lawyer, former president of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, and organizer and fundraiser for Bush-Cheney campaigns, Gov. Charlie Crist and other Republican politicians. He served as 2007 chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission.
On Friday, Trey and his father attended the Wild Game Night fundraiser for charity, held by the Brandon Rotary Club at the Boggy Bottom Ranch in Plant City, said family friends.
The Currys rode with friends in a limousine for the men's night out and left the event around 11 p.m. to return to the Curry home, said Hillsborough Circuit Judge Rex Barbas, who was in the limo.
Barbas, whose daughter briefly dated Trey and remained close friends, got his customary hug goodbye that night from Trey, who called him "Judge Rex."
"He loved to make people laugh," Barbas said, recalling a photo of Trey clowning around in his mom's dress and heels.
After Barbas got out of the limo, it took off again with Trey and his father and several friends. Barbas doesn't know where they went. The Sheriff's Office said Trey was back home and in bed by 1:30 a.m.
Mark Proctor, a family friend who was in the hospital room the day Trey was born, also got a hug Friday night from Trey.
Trey recently told him he was thinking about becoming a chef. Aside from cooking, his other passion was Florida State University football games. And he loved to hunt.
On Friday night, Trey called Proctor's son about going to an outdoors show with their dads.
"He was always looking at how he could do things for other people," Proctor said.
Times staff writer Colleen Jenkins contributed to this report. Saundra Amrhein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 661-2441.
AT A GLANCE:
A memorial service will be held for Trey Curry at 10:30 a.m. today at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon.