Curtis Nevils Sr.
1935 - 2020
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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.



To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Post-Tribune on May 3, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Memorial service
Interment
Oak Hill Cemetery
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
50 entries
May 17, 2020
To my extended family condolences to you. May you find strength in the love and happiness shared doing the good times.
Dinahlynn Biggs
Family
May 13, 2020
My sincere condolences to the Nevils family.
May God give you strength.
James Walker
Friend
May 13, 2020
To Sean and the Nevils family, I extend to you my deepest sympathy. May GOD bless you with peace, knowing that you will meet again.
Catherine Miller
Friend
May 9, 2020
Grove of 35 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Darrin Beloate
May 8, 2020
Please accept my deepest condolences and know that God loves you and can restore your spirits, give you peace, and strengthen you.
Nubian Wilson
Family
May 8, 2020
Dad I will miss you but I know you are at peace. As I reflect on our memories I will always remember your love for music. I will always cherish the time we sat and sang together while the guys went Black Friday shopping! I will always appreciate the way you welcomed me in to your home and family. I cant forget the blueberry pancakes and famous tacos! You were a great grandpa to my girls! They loved you so much!! I know you are up there singing and playing beautiful music! I will miss you but I will never forget. Love Anita
Anita Nevils
Daughter
May 7, 2020
My brother❣ Your grand spirit shall light the path of our entire extended family and many, many friends forever. The thrilling music from your saxophone, my childhood, eternally plays on in my heart
Creighton (Dicky) Dickerson
Brother
May 7, 2020
I always have and always will love you my big brother. My life is less without you in it.
Creighton (Dicky) Dickerson
Brother
May 6, 2020
The many Thanksgivings Holidays with Mr. Nevils at Jason and Anita house was special. We would talk about "Da Bears" football season and how they could turn it around. He would say "You guys are crazy for going out shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, its cold out there!" One of the best memories is his singing and flute playing. Coolest, Down to Earth, Genuine person you could ever meet. Our thoughts and prayers to the family.
Darrin and Jamie Beloate
Friend
May 6, 2020
May the Lord be with you and your family during this time. Please accept our sincere condolences.

The Brother's of Kappa Alpha Psi
Delta Phi Chapter
May 5, 2020
Dad I will miss calling you taking about Tiger woods will he win another tournament. You always love the Williams sisters playing tennis. I will miss call you about buying big items in my life. You always thought I made it in life. You was always proud of me! I just wanted my family to have best than I had. Dad you taught me this.
Love you Dad!!
Jason Nevils
Son
May 5, 2020
Although this is a sad and stressful time for the family, take solace in his achievements and the person he was.
Genobie
Friend
May 5, 2020
Pops, Ill miss you terribly. No matter what I did or tried to do, you supported me. Ill miss your unique tacos, your fried rice, frozen pizzas, trail mix,

your Dad, Im about to come by. Have you eaten yet? Yeah I have, I dont want nuthin You sure? Ok See you in a bit/ Well.Where you goin? Bring me a shrimp fried rice/ fish sammich/ veggie subway/ big daddys bbq turkey/ fish tacos/ gyros/ perch.

Fond memories. Fishing, pro wrestling : Dad, why do we have to sit back here? I wanna sit ringside. We sittin back here. Cause when they start swinging them chairs, now!.

Every two weeks getting Little Ceasars when it was a treat. Getting my allowance in an envelope with my name written on it. Telling you I was going to be a father, expecting you to freak out. You didnt. We just had a calm phone call, and you gave me the best guidance that you could possible give from a father to a son. When your granddaughter, Taylor, was a baby crying, you singing to her. Waking up from surgery and seeing you there with my mom. 1st car accident, you were there, you showed right up. Coming to my basketball games even though I was TERRIBLE, and only scored two points in my whole basketball career. Karate training. Trading your saxophone to teach yourself to play the Native America flute after your retirement from the steel mill. Playing those same flutes along with me while I practiced different DJ techniques.

The bed Im sitting on as I write this, you drove me to pick up and helped me carry to my room. Why you need so much bed anyway?. Trips to Chicago to see family. The Taste of Chicago visits. I remember you getting your customary corn on the cob and being content and happy as your walked along wiping butter from your face. . U letting me wear your Kangol, cause thats what the rappers wore. Your singing. You carrying a pizza box under your arm like a book HAHA!! The joy you had when I went back to school to finish my degree.

One of the last moments we shared was as my brothers and I were trying to get you to drink, they let me have a moment alone to you. I sang Lean On Me by Bill Withers to you, because I knew it was one of your favorite songs Even though you are a singer, and Iam not, I knew it gave you a tiny bit of comfort.

Of course, I could write forever. Wish I could have kept you forever, but thats not the way this is supposed to go. A SPRY 85 years. Glad u are no longer in pain. Your pain is gone. Mine begins. But if I had a choice between you being in pain, and I being in pain, Ill take it. OUR family and friends share this burden of pain of losing you, and that will make us stronger and help us heal.

Ill end this with the VERY last words we spoke to each other.

I love you, Dad
Yeah I love you too, son


P.S. When we meet again, we are gonna have a talk about your having more pictures of the first black president on your wall, than pictures of me. :P
Barack - 8
Sean
Son
May 5, 2020
May you Rest In Peace with Jesus the Christ.
Paul Hoggard
Acquaintance
May 5, 2020
Curtis, I did not know you, but I know your sister. And through knowing Janice I can tell you were a wonderful brother. May you rest peacefully with your Savior. May Janice dwell on the love and fond memories between you, and the strength you gave her. God be with your family.
Elsie C. Fleming
Friend
May 5, 2020
On behalf of his sister, Janice Alexander, I send condolences and prayers to the family of Curtis Nevils. Blessings, Billie LaVerne Smith
May 4, 2020
A very talented man, I will always remember your great smile and always welcoming family in your home, Rest in heavenly peace ❤
Stephanie McElwaine
Family
May 4, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Lillian
Friend
May 4, 2020
Five C's Artist Photo 1954
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
Five C's Reissued CD 2010
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. Flute Portrait 2015
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr.-and-Mother Lillian-Nevils
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. Native Flute of the Night CD 2006
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. Native Flute CD 2005
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. and Sister Janice 05-29-04
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. Wisdom Speaker Flute
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 4, 2020
We will love and miss you.
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Theia
Family
May 3, 2020
I just wanted to let you know that, youve raised a great son , whos been great friend of mine for many years. I thank you and Mama Nevils for that. Im sure you all this , but I wanted to let you know. Rest well Sir.
Marques ( Swole) Prude
Friend
May 3, 2020
Cousin Curtis has been a spiritual inspiration to be and my calling in ministry. He would always Encourage me I'm doing the right thing at the right place. CURTIS WAS ALWAYS THE GLUE THAT KEPT THE 3 FAMILY CONNECTED. I going to missed him but I know for a fact he is in a great place and very comfortable.
Missing you cuz
Love
Cuz Kevin
Kevin Mitchell
Family
May 3, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Dena, Smitn
Family
May 3, 2020
My oldest brother, Curtis Tab, was a special human being and I loved him very much. I always idolized him. I remember when I was younger and he was performing with his band, I thought I would see him on TV. Foolish little sister.

Curtis, Dickey and I did not group up together in the same household for many reasons but thanks to my father, Curtis step-father, Henry, Curtis was never very far. Henry was either taking us across the street to Grandmother Gertrudes to spend time with Curtis (which usually meant spending time eating with Gertrude because Curtis was high School age then and very busy). Later, we all lived in the same apartment building, Curtis on the first floor and my Dad, Dicky and I on the second floor. Then, some years after my father passed, Curtis took Dicky and I in because we needed a home. I am sure we were a handful. But Curtis managed to make it all work out.

Curtis transitioned, April 25th. I got a chance to talked to Curtis a week or so before that and was able to tell him I loved him. I was surprised when he picked up the phone and when I heard Hey Girl my heart skipped a beat. I immediately taught, ok, maybe things are changing for the better. But God had other plans.

Due to the restrictions regarding the virus, my nephews were limited as to what could be done but they moved quickly. The family is planning a memorial service later in the year.

I found this poem online I wish to dedicate to my brother Curtis:

You showed me a lot of things.
I learned a lot I didn't know,
But you forgot to teach me one last thing -
How to let you go.
I know you didn't mean to leave me;
Sometimes we have no choice.
I will miss being your little sister,
Hearing my name called by your voice.
I am glad I got to say "I Love You"
Before you were given to the sky.
If God could grant me one last wish,
I'd ask to say "Goodbye."
You always meant a lot to me.
I could never love you less,
I know it's true when they say,
"He only takes the best."


Published December 2010- unknown author
Janice Alexander
Sister
May 3, 2020
I called you Dad from day one heyou was a joy and I will forever keep my memories of you in my heart, your joyful smile and your charming voice and laughter I will truly miss you Dad until we meet again you will continue tto be in my heart II thank God for allowing mme to be so blessed to have had you in my life
Donna sister)
Family
May 3, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family. May God give you the strength and comfort you need during this time and always.
Deborah
Family
May 3, 2020
When one of us Are hurting, all of us are affected. My heart goes out to the family.
And to my brother Curtis... we got your back.
Coach Maston Knowles
Brother
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
One of Curtis Nevils Sr's. song he composed, "Earth Sun (2006)", on his second CD played live at his church Calvary Lutheran Church.
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. High school Music-photo
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Dad riding with son Sean
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. Graduation
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. at Birthday party with portrait painted 2015
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. playing flute 2007
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. 1992
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. and some of his Grand daughters and daughter-in-law Anita
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. Wisdom Speaker Flute Shirt 2005
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. early teen years
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Curtis Nevils Sr. and cousin Eddie Mitchell
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
Cousin_Marsha_Curtis_Sr_and_Jewel_McElwaine
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
C_Nevils_Sr_and_Jade_Nevils_at_2005_School_program
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
May 3, 2020
C_Nevils_Jr_Birthday_party_pic_Curtis_Sr_Linda_Gloria_14_2121
Curtis Nevils Jr.
Son
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