Anthony Ray Curtis

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LAURINBURG — Anthony Ray "Tony" Curtis, 74, died on Jan. 23, 2015, of cancer after a short illness.

He is survived by his wife, Judith G. Curtis.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the McDougald Funeral Home and Crematorium Chapel. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 1- 2 p.m.

Born on Oct. 31, 1940, in Marietta, Ohio, he was the son of the late Edwin Curtis and Charlotte Suder Curtis.

At the time of his death, he was a professor of Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he had taught since 2002. Tony earned his bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in political science from The Pennsylvania State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A long-time educator, he had been teaching in higher education since 1967, including at Penn State University, Ohio University, Salisbury University, The Union Institute and University, and Hood College. At UNC-Pembroke, he received an Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012 and a Most Valuable Professor award in 2012, 2013, 2014, and posthumously for 2015. He had served on numerous committees, including as Chair of the Faculty Senate and as President of the Friends of the Library Board. At Salisbury University, he received the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award and was nominated for the Distinguished Faculty Award. At Hood College, he was nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award.

During his career as a journalist, he was a special assignment reporter for The Herald newspaper, in Sharon, Pennsylvania; a correspondent for The National Observer for Dow Jones, Inc.; the electronics and photography editor for Popular Mechanics magazine in New York City; the founding editor of Modern Electronics magazine in New York City; and a columnist for Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Model Railroader Magazine, and ARRLWeb. He received the C.B. Lartz Award for Outstanding Newswriting at the Sharon Herald and the Outstanding Program Award for radio and television production at Ohio University.

Tony worked for commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He also was press secretary and speechwriter for a governor of Pennsylvania and public relations director for the Pennsylvania portion of a U.S. Presidential election.

After serving as Vice President of Tab Books in Pennsylvania, he founded ARCsoft Publishers, a book publishing company specializing in computer and space science books. He founded and edited Space Today Online and was often interviewed as a space policy analyst. In addition to his Space Today site, he had constructed websites for two universities and, most recently, specialized in building global virtual learning environments.

Tony wrote 72 books about computers, communications, space science, and astronomy, including Space Almanac, chosen Outstanding Academic Book by the American Library Association. Since 2000, he had served as a NASA Solar System Ambassador.

An FCC-licensed amateur radio operator since 1954, Tony remained active in emergency preparedness public service. He served as an Educational Advisor to the American Radio Relay League and as an Assistant Director for the Roanoke Division of the League.

Memorials may be made to the UNCP Foundation, PO Box 1510, Pembroke, NC 28372 or the Scotland Memorial Foundation, 500 Lauchwood Dr., Laurinburg, NC 28352.

Funeral Home
McDougald Funeral Home & Crematorium
305 East Church Street
Laurinburg, NC 28353
(910) 276-2200
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Published in Laurinburg Exchange from Feb. 18 to Feb. 19, 2015
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