Ted Edward Curtis, 85, of Montvale, VA, formerly of Bluefield, WV departed his life January 4, 2017, at LewisGale Medical Center. He was born August 3, 1931, to the late Ada Hardy Curtis and James Hunter Curtis.
He was a retired Air Traffic Manager at the Flight Services Station of Mercer County Airport (Who operated under the auspices of the Federal Aviation Administration) in Bluefield, WV. Ted worked at the Airport since its inception and was an exemplary employee with the FAA for 44 years. He started in 1958 and transferred to Bluefield from Elkins in 1959. Prior to his career with the FAA, Ted spent a year and half as an employee of the Veterans Administration in Roanoke, VA and honorably served as an Instructor with the Navy Reserve from 1956 through 1970. Ted historically became the first African American Controller in the South and first to be named Air Traffic Manager. He was a member of the Region 1 Planning and Development Executive Counsel, Tazewell County Vocational School Advisory Committee, Bluefield Daily Telegraphs Reader Board, Life Member of the American Legion (Affiliated with Bluefield, WV. Post #9), and Lifetime member of the NAACP. He held several positions with the Mercer County Branch of the NAACP, including President, Vice President and Chaired the Branchs Labor-Industry Committee.
Mr. Ted as he was affectionately called by some and Uncle Ted by others truly loved his family. He was an avid storyteller, a source of humorous advice, and a brilliantly wise man. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ada Hardy Curtis; father, James Hunter Curtis; one daughter, Gloria Jean Wright; one stepson, Larry O. Cofer; three brothers, James (Jean), Benny (Rose), and Clifton (Pearl) Curtis; two sisters, Hazel Curtis Hobson and Arlena Curtis Hall.
Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife of 58 years, Mary E. Curtis; two sons, Tyrone (Chari) Curtis, of Dayton, OH and Theodore (Kimela) Curtis, of Moore, OK; four daughters, Sabrina Curtis, of Roanoke, VA, Martha (Gary) Welch, of Fincastle, VA, Saretha (Anthony) Washington, of Spring Grove, VA and Beverly Curtis, of Wytheville, VA; one brother, Travis (Loretha) Curtis; six grandchildren, Theodore (Lindsey) Curtis Jr., Kamela Curtis, Kyndel Curtis, Taylor Curtis, Howard (Kivi) Owens Jr. and Temecca Shawn (Keister) Wright-Gallman and a special host of nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren who loved him dearly.
Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at Greater Mount Zion Pentecostal Church, 104 Park Street, Bluefield, WV 24701 with the Rev. Charles Collins officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Curtis Family Cemetery, Montvale, VA. Friends may call on Tuesday afternoon for viewing at Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to www.Hamlar-Curtis.com.
Published on January 7, 2017