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1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Jesse M. Curtis Obituary
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August 14, 2018

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Preview Entry
August 14, 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home - Newport News.
December 14, 2017
We were so sorry to hear of Mr. Curtis passing when we went to visit at the Nursing Home tonight. The therapy dogs and their handlers will miss visiting with you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this holiday season. Chapter 152, Therapy Dog International.
November 27, 2017
To Mrs. Curtis, Dennis, Marty, and family,

I first want to apologize for not being able to attend the visitation and funeral, unfortunately I was out of town when I learned of Chief Curtis' passing. I am so deeply sorry for your loss, and will keep you in our prayers.

To Chief Curtis' grandchildren and great grandchildren, please indulge me as I share how your grandfather (and grandmother) touched the life of someone you've never met, and how they changed the direction of that life in ways they couldn't have imagined.

From the beginning of what is now known as middle school, and practically through most of high school, Dennis and I grew up together. Of course, Marty was around...the big brother...but for the most part he was really cool and didn't torment us (too horribly). During the summers we would hang out at the pool, find places to fish, or ride dirt bikes. After school, in the fall/winter, we hunted squirrels and rabbits in the woods across Rt. 17 from your grandparents house (During that time, in that specific area along 17, there were only a couple of gas stations and Deer Park Church. No car dealerships, no City Center, no shopping center or apartments, nothing but fields and woods. It was an incredible place to grow up!). On those hunting days, when on his days off from the FD, it was not uncommon to get to your grandparents house to find your grandfather had prepared a big pot of the best squirrel or rabbit stew I've ever eaten, then or now.

I share this because, as you can imagine, I was at your grandparents as often as I was at my own. Both of your grandparents always treated me as one of their own...even dragging me off to the occasional Sunday School class. They both provided advice and counsel when it was sought, and they provided a shoulder or an ear when needed. While others knew him from an adult perspective, I had the honor of having grown up in your grandfather's presence. He was ramrod straight, mustache perfectly trimmed, not a hair out of place, and a deep baritone voice that could never be mistaken. I swear, your grandfather could work in his garden all day, and look just as clean and straight up coming out as he did going in.

While your grandfather had a number of hobbies in those days, it was God, his Church, his family, and the fire service that appeared to hold his heart. Your grandfather's dedication to the fire service was infectious, and on his duty days at the Hilton Fire Station, Dennis and I could typically find an excuse to go to the Main Street Library, finishing the evening shooting pool with the firefighters at the firehouse next door. It was this environment and your grandfather's example of dedication that caused me to catch the bug very early on. In my world, on January 29, 1979, your grandfather transitioned from Mr. Curtis to Chief Curtis when I followed his example and joined the department the day after my 20th birthday. He was the Deputy Chief when I had the honor of joining the department, and very soon after he served as the Acting Fire Chief.

Sometime after his retirement, I happened to notice your grandfather taking care of the landscaping at Deer Park church and I would periodically stop to seek his counsel on my way home. Through his example of dedication to service, coupled with his advice and guidance, I was blessed within my career, and retired from the department as an Assistant Chief in 2013 with 34 years of service.

Though we've never met, we're family, and I wanted to share the story of your grandfather and how he influenced my life. I love you guys, and will always keep you in our prayers
November 16, 2017
Jean, Marty, Emily and family. Thinking of you all with love and our deepest sympathy.
Linda & Larry
November 15, 2017
My mother and father loved Jesse. They were all part of the church family at Deer Park Baptist. After my mother became ill and Daddy was taking care of her, Jesse would call Daddy daily and visit frequently. Daddy really enjoyed this contact and looked forward to it. Whenever my mother had a doctors appointment or had to go to the hospital, Jesse was there to help get her in and out of the car or just keep them company. After my mother passed away, Jesse continued to have the daily conversations and frequent visits with Daddy until Jesse's health began to fade. I am sure that now they are in Heaven and have resumed their daily conversations about gardening and growing up in the country. Jesse Curtis was one of the finest men I have known.

Tommy Emerson
Poquoson, VA