Loving Life: the McCurry Family

mccurry2What an honor this week on Loving Life to share with you a family full of faith and love for each other! We are excited for you to hear from Nell Smith McCurry, her daughter Cindy Acree, daughter in law, Patti McCurry, and granddaughters Malerie Gwin and Jordan Barfield. 


  • Name: Nell Smith McCurry
  • Occupation: Chief Administrative Officer of Family Business: McCurry 4 Wheel Drive Center, Inc/DBA SKYJACKER SUSPENSIONS
  • Hometown: WM
  • Current city: WM
  • Family/KidsHusband: Lonnie McCurry, Sr Son: Lonnie McCurry, Jr Daughter: Cindy McCurry Acree Grandchildren: 6 Granddaughters, 2 Grandsons, 2 Great grandsons, & 2 Great Granddaughters
  • Any other information (Education/Volunteer/Creative Hobbies): Spending time with family! Love to attend the grandchildren and great grandchildren’s ball games, school programs, etc. Jeep riding, trail rides and other off road events.

What inspires you?

We have been blessed to get to share Christ through our business SKYJACKER SUSPENSIONS. We have an insert shipped out our products called “Jesus Forgives, Rocks Don’t.” We have heard back from numerous people who have received the insert and had stories to tell of someone being ministered to or even receiving Christ after reading it. Being involved with a great church like Family Church West Monroe. They are like family, the way they love one another and minister to one another.

Who is your hero?

Mother Teresa. Her poem “Anyway” changed my life forever.

Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway

What are you learning in this season of life?

As I become 70 this year, I plan to stay busy, always staying involved in our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren’s lives cherishing every minute we get to spend together.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

My favorite movie is The Notebook. The Notebook is a story about the enduring power of love and shows that true love can last forever. As my husband, Lonnie McCurry, Sr and I celebrate our 52nd anniversary this year I plan for us to be sure to not take one another for granted and do our best to be what God wants us to be to show what God can do with two imperfect people.

What cause or community initiative do you support? What do you love about it?

Two Penny Missions [Birthed by son-in-law Danny Acree]: Ministry to the homeless and those in need in the community. Their new project “Arimathea Trace” Tiny Homes temporary housing is being built now.

Of course “Life Choices”: This is such a need here. These women get help they need as well as counseling to help make the best decisions with their pregnancy. I am very thankful for them.

Christian Radio: I am very thankful for the awesome Christian radio stations we have now. We lacked in the area for many years here. They minister to so many and different age groups.

 Inn Ministries: The Inn had its beginnings in the early 90′s. Our main focus was and continues to be the unchurched members of our community: San Cristóbal Verapaz, Guatemala. We emphasize Christ centered family relationships, work related relationships and community relationships. We have concentrated our efforts on long range programs, such as education and community involvement, building a trust level with the local authorities and business establishments, which in turn opens doors enabling us to minister effectively in our society. Although we hold worship services here at the Inn, we don’t consider them to be our end; rather a means by which to equip the believers to be life givers in their neighborhoods

New Favorite Food:

Fiesta Nutrition Center’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Describe your perfect day?

On the Beach


What’s one of your favorite family memories? Family trips to The Beach, Disney World and jeep events. We are blessed to attend the same church [Family Church in WM] and attend many church related events together.

Advice from Mom: Speak positive words over your children, to them and about them.


Cindy Acree works at SKYJACKER SUSPENSIONS as Chief Financial Officer. She has been there since she was a child when we started 1974 and has an accounting degree.


Her husband Danny Acree founded Two Penny Ministries. Her son Austin is involved, also.

Her daughter is Malerie Gwin who owns Fitness Clothing store  IF The Crown Fits. She also volunteers her time with Two Penny Ministries.

Her other Daughter, Allison Edwards manages the Store and has a photography business.


Name: Malerie Gwin

Occupation: Self Employed and Crossfit Trainer

Hometown: West Monroe

Current City: West Monroe

Family/Kids: Husband Kyle Gwin. Sheriff Deputy at Ouachita Parish Sheriff Dept.  Daughter Kylie Gwin 5 years old. Obsessed with all things gymnastics and dance. We LITERALLY have a full dance routine in our princess gowns to get to the bed every night. I never imaged I would have a girly girl..but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! 

Pets: 2 Dogs. Maltipoo and Yorkie

Education/work/hobbies: Graduated River Oaks in 2007. Graduated From Louisiana College in 2011 with Bach degree in Marketing. Opened If The Crown Fits in 2013. We started out as a maternity boutique, but quickly brought in fitness apparel. As of 2017 we are strictly fitness apparel and active wear. It has been the best journey!  Most favorite hobby is Crossfit. I have been a “crossfitter” for going on 4 years now, and I have been a C1L1 Trainer for 3 years. 

What Inspires me?

My daughter Kylie inspires me. She inspires me to not only be a better Christian. But a more loving and supportive wife and mom. She was definitely the greatest blessing to her daddy and me.

What are you learning in this season of your life?

In this season of life I am learning to just to slow down and enjoy the small things. The hustle and grind of opening a retail business right after having a baby.. time has literally flown by. I have wonderful memories of the last 4-5 years, but still I feel like I missed so many opportunities to cherish the smallest of things in my early twenties.

What is your favorite beauty product?

Favorite Beauty Product is definitely my red lipstick! I don’t wear a ton of make up on a daily basis because I usually coach before opening the store, but I do make sure I always have a lip on!

What cause or community project do you support?

I am very passionate about Two Penny Missions. My step dad and little brother founded this ministry, and I now serve on the board of directors. We are actually in the process of having the mini homes built on Lilac Street in Monroe! It is going to be awesome!


Describe your perfect day:

My perfect day would be to wake up, get a workout in, have a super busy day at the store, and then come home and play outside or in the pool with Kyle and Kylie. Of course we would have to finish the night with a movie.. either Beauty and The Best or Moana 🙂


Name: Patti McCurry

Occupation: homemaker

Hometown: Having lived in West Monroe for more than 34 years, I call it home

Family/kids: Married to Lonnie McCurry, Jr. for 31 years. I’m mom to 4 beautiful women and 1 incredible son. I’m also “Luvi” to Hayden, Lawson and Berkley.

Pets: Bella (a rescue) and Lyric are my sweet puppies

Any education/volunteer/creative hobbies: I love decorating, entertaining, fashion, fresh flowers and cooking

Any creative endeavor you would like to share: I love speaking to women about God’s miracle working power I’ve experienced in my own life. I am a medical miracle and have overcome great obstacles by God’s great love.

What inspires you?

I’m deeply passionate about recovery, restoration, redemption and relationship with the Living God! Helping others along on their own journeys.

If you had a dinner party attended by celebrities, who would be your top 5 guests?

I’d choose my 5 children over any celebrities.

Who is your hero?

My  husband. I’ve never known such a God honoring man. He ALWAYS puts the needs of his family above his own!

What are you learning in this season of your life?

To breathe a little slower and deeper. I’m learning to live from a heart of gratitude and to cherish those around us, especially our family.

What are you currently reading?

I love all of Brene Brown’s books


Describe your perfect day:

time with God, time with my grandchildren

What’s one of your favorite family memories?

Spending every summer vacation together at the beach


  • Name: Jordan McCurry Barfield
  • Occupation:  sales administrator at Skyjacker Suspensions
  • Hometown: WM
  • Current city: WM
  • Family/Kids: My parents, Lonnie and Patti McCurry, have been married 31 years. I’m the oldest of their 5 children and have 3 sisters- Lauren, Katelyn, Ashtin and my little brother, Evan. The five of us are extremely close and deeply bonded, with two of the sisters living out of state, lots of group texts and face timing keeps us all connected! I have been married to my husband, Daniel Barfield, for 7 years and we have 3 beautiful children. We have two little boys, Hayden Neal (6) and Lawson Lee (3) and 9 months ago, God saw fit to bless our family with a beautiful baby girl, Berkley Ann! I love my little family and am so blessed that God chose Daniel and I to be their parents! Being a mother is the best job I’ve ever been given. I have a big extended family outside of just my parents and siblings and I love my entire family and the connection we all share. I’m even more blessed because I get to work with most of my family on a daily basis! I work for my family owned business- Skyjacker Suspensions. I’ve been working there part time since 2004 and full time since 2009. I’m the third generation to work for the company! I love that I get the privilege to not only work here but to minister to others through the company with us being a Christian company. I love my job and the people that I get to work with every day. I love having such an amazing “extended family” and I’m so blessed to be able to watch and be a part of such an amazing legacy.
  • Pets: We have a two year old poodle mix, that we rescued from a shelter about 8 moths ago. Our boys have named him Arlo, and he’s been a perfect addition to our family!
  • Any other information (Education/Volunteer/Creative Hobbies): I graduated from Claiborne Christian in 2006. I love to read anything written by Karen Kingsbury or Brene Brown whenever I have any spare time. We attend Family Church and I count my blessings to have my whole family all serve there under our amazing pastor Beck Payne and his wife, Jodi. I volunteer with Families Helping Families by providing support, sharing experiences, and letting the family know that what they are feeling is normal and that they aren’t all alone. It’s so hard to understand the emotions and challenges unless you have had a child with a disability as well! Also I am waiting for the NICU rocking program at St. Francis to start their schedule back up to continue volunteering through parts of the community. Reasons why I volunteer: 1.) Families Helping Families- my six year old son, Hayden, has moderate autism with a sensory processing disorder. FHF brings support to families like mine by providing resources to anyone that needs help with a family member or individual that special needs. 2.) The NICU rocking program- My son, Lawson, was in the NICU for several weeks after being born at 34 weeks gestation. The rocking program is a way for me to give back and help to show my gratitude for all the incredible doctors and nurses and how they helped us through a very difficult time.
  • Any blog, book, creative endeavor, etc. you’d like to share: The books you will find on my night stand are: my Bible and Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It’s an amazing book about how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead.


What inspires you?

My family inspires me. We are not perfect, not anywhere close to it, but we love each other through the ups and downs. Growing up in my family, I learned that family doesn’t abandon- family fights for what’s important!

If you had a dinner party attended by celebrities, who would be your top 5 guests?

I’ve thought about this several times and I feel like my answer is still true to the same it’s been the last six years. Donald Trump, NeNe Leakes, Tamar Braxton, Michael Jordan and Karen Kingsbury.

Who is your hero?

I don’t have a specific hero, but my heroes are people who are honest with themselves and others about their struggles, as hard as that is, and people who are honest about getting the help they need for the struggles they are facing. It takes a lot of courage to do this, and the people I view as heroes, let myself and everyone around them, know that it’s ok to not be ok.

What are you learning in this season of life?

I am learning that it is ok to be just me! I’ve always been a people pleaser, so it was important to me to always “seem” ok, because surely someone needs me to have it all together, right? I’ve always put others before myself even from a young age. I always though I was being strong, but what I was doing was slowing through the years diminishing my own self worth and self value. I ended up stuffing my feelings, so that I would not create or get involved with any confrontation. Due to doing that for so long, I completely lost myself and forgot how to be true to myself. I dealt with some severe depression and anxiety and God helped me realize, I had to start working on myself, not others, but me! If I could go back and tell myself years or even months ago, that as a mom, it’s extremely important to take care of yourself. Without you taking care of yourself, you cannot take good care of the people around you. It’s hard to find the itme to take for yourself, but please do it! I’ve also learned (and am still learning) that perfect and perfection just do not exist. Also not only do they not exist but what you have to remind yourself is that everyone’s definition of that deadly word are different. Perfection does not exist! Have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 3 years old, and Hayden being diagnosed autistic at 16 months old, that is something I learned at a young age. There is no perfect family, no perfect church, no perfect organizations, we as humans are all flawed. I’m learning just how important it is to get plugged in with a church and a small group and being around people just like you! I’m also learning to take each day, day by day. All God requires of me is my very best and the next right step, nothing more,and He certainly doesn’t expect perfection in me! How freeing is that?! Thank You, Jesus!

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

I love to listen to 88.7 the Cross every time that I’m in my vehicle! The kids and I are currently reading Jesus Calling for Little Ones by Sarah Young. Whenever I have the chance to read, which isn’t much, you will find me reading anything current from Karen Kingsbury, Brene Brown, or anything to do with autism. I like to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy when all the kids go to bed.

What’s your current favorite beauty products?

I couldn’t make it without my Rusk Speed Freak hair blow dryer. Being a busy mom of 3, I don’t have much time to sit and dry my thick hair, this dryer really helps me cut down on drying time.

I love my Paul Mitchell Express Dry Waterless shampoo that I get from Rain the Salon and Day Spa in Monroe. Not only does it help me buy another day of not having to wash my hair but you can also use on clean hair to add volume as well!

I really like Fresh lip polish, which gently exfoliates and conditions dried/chapped lips. I always buy Jack Black “the Stick” natural mint flavored lip balm when I’m buying the other since you can buy them at the same place.

I love all things Skinceuticals when it comes to cleansers, toners, moisturizers.

What cause or community initiative do you support? What do you love about it?

I support Families Helping Families of Northeast Louisiana. Their vision is to strengthen, support, and empower individuals and their families while promoting community inclusion. They are a small non profit family directed resource center whose mission is to provide information, education, and training peer to peer support to individuals with disabilities and their families. They offer support to families and assist them in overcoming the challenges that come with raising a child with disabilities. One of the things I love most- the staff that are employed at FHF are either individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities.

Describe your perfect day?

Worship with Kari Jobe in a quiet dim lit room where I can sing at the top  of my lungs!


What’s one of your favorite family memories?

Each time I gave birth to my children. There’s truly nothing that compares to meeting your child for the first time.

What scripture has been on your heart lately?

“So don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

What’s your favorite movie?

Runaway Bride

What brings you Joy?

My children fill my heart with pure joy, their innocence, giggles, snuggles, and their unconditional expectations and love for me gives me joy! Also any milestone that Hayden meets that we were told he wouldn’t brings our entire family immense joy!

Wow! What a beautiful legacy has been built in this family- all on the solid rock of Jesus! Thank you, McCurry family for inspiring us to pursue our faith and family time! All of you shine so brightly for the Lord!

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