Curtis Nevils Sr., Homegoing & Celebration of Life
Born on February 5, 1935, in Gary, IN, to the union of Lillie Mae Gordon (Nevils) and Oscar Nevils, both music teachers, who preceded him in death, Curtis graduated from Froebel High School in 1953.
While at Froebel, he exhibited his musical direction as a saxophonist, leading his grandmother to purchase his own instrument, and him to become a singer/songwriter with some of his classmates. This led to a group called the "Five C's", like another Gary group, The Spaniels. The Five C's gained local and national acclaim with several hits at that time, with Curtis singing and co-writing most of their hits, as is documented in several books: "Doo-Wop: The Forgotten Third of Rock 'n' Roll," by Anthony Gribin and Matthew Schiff; "Du Wop" by Johnny Keyes; Blues and Rhythm Magazine, UK #214; Marv Goldberg R&B Notebooks – 5 C's and the reissue of the Five C's "Tell Me," Delmark Records in 2004 United Recordings CD and various YouTube internet links of their Five C's recordings.
He was very active in church, first joining First A.M.E. in Gary, then later, Calvary Lutheran Church, and finally Bethel, and various civic organizations becoming a vibrant member in his community. He worked as a Welder at J&L Steel and after many years retired. He later in life earned his security license becoming an auxiliary policeman and a Freemason at the Masonic Lodge 32 in Indiana. At the urging of his grandmother, Curtis delved into his Native Indian roots, applying at the Freeman Dawes Rolls for his heritage papers, and, embracing his Native Indian heritage, he started composing, performing, and arranging Indian Flute music accumulating in two Native Indian Flute music CDs, which he released.
He was called home on Saturday, April 25, 2020. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Gladys Nevils, and survived by his former wife, Dorothy Nevils; sister, Janice (Dickerson) Alexander; brother, Creighton Dickerson, Sr; Sons, Curtis Nevils, Jr. (Mariquita), Jason Nevils (Anita), Sean Nevils, Jeffrey Riley (Samantha); Daughter Kendra Riley; Granddaughters, Gia Nevils, Natae Nevils, Breneya Nevils, Jazmine Nevils, Jade Nevils, Taylor Nevils, Allison Kemp, Nicole Riley, Alexis Riley, Mia Riley, Brittany Riley (deceased), Lillian Riley (deceased); cousins, Eddie Mitchell and the Mitchell family, along with the McElwaine Family, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Interment is at Oak Hill Cemetery. Due to this unprecedented time of social distancing, a memorial service will be planned for a later date when it is safe to gather to share hugs and stories. For now, in the words of our father, Curtis Nevils, Sr.: "May the Creator be with you."
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and support.