Renee L. Gurley was born in High Point, North Carolina, and raised in Trinity, North Carolina.
Gurley attended school in Trinity, N.C., She volunteered with the Red Cross, working as a candy striper and at the Veterans Administration in Salisbury, N.C., before graduating high school in 1970.
After high school, Gurley began nursing classes at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Gurley was married in 1972, graduated from UNCG in 1974, and worked at a hospital in Raleigh, N.C. before joining the United States Air Force in 1975.
Gurley received her air force medical training at Shepard Air Force Base in Texas and then reported to her first assignment at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where she worked as a pediatric nurse. While at Lackland, Gurley and her husband had a son, and soon afterwards she was sent to her next assignment at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where she worked in the obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) clinic and taught childbirth and parenting classes.
Gurley’s next assignments included Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, Travis Air Force Base in California, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and once again, Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
After her divorce in 1989, Gurley came back to North Carolina in order to be near her family, and stayed in the air force until retirement in 1995 with the rank of major.
Renee L. Gurley died in Valdese, North Carolina on 11 September, 2012.