Lt. Col. Herbert Curtis Needham
May 15, 1932 - June 22, 2021
Herbert Curtis Needham died Tuesday, June 22, 2021, of dementia.
Lt. Col. Needham was born in Pilot Mountain, May 15, 1932, and was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his 26-year career in the Air Force, Lt. Col. Needham served in several states within the United States, as well as in Vietnam, the Philippines, the Portuguese Azores, and at Midway Island. He flew his passenger and transport aircrafts to dozens of foreign countries, including Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and many of the Pacific Islands. In Lt. Col. Needham's view, his assignment to the 89th Military Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., the so-called 'Presidential Wing,' was his most memorable. While in this assignment, he flew many U.S. and foreign dignitaries to locations throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. A short list of his passengers would include Vice Presidents Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the Nixon family, Sen. Strom Thurmond and his wife, Nancy, Israel's Golda Mier, Jordan's King Hussein, and the Shah of Iran, along with many others. After retirement from the Air Force, Lt. Col. Needham pursued a career in real estate development and construction with his two sons, Mark and Scott. Two of the projects built include The Villages at Oak Tree and The Villages at Isle of Pines, both active retirement communities. He continued to be active in operation of the company Bonanza Development Co., Inc. until 2018. He was one of the developers of Cornelius Woods, an active adult community of 110 homes in the vicinity of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church.
Lt. Col. Needham is survived by his loving wife, Barbara (aka D.B.); two sons, Mark and his wife, Lee Needham, and Scott and his wife, Marilyn Needham, of Mooresville; and stepdaughter, Julie Hensley and her husband, Winston Hensley, of Indian Trail. He is also survived by one sister, Carol Hooker and her husband, Douglas, of Pilot Mountain. He has two grandchildren, Kristen Saragoni and her husband, Nick, of Mooresville, and Curtis Lee Needham of Charlotte; and two stepgrandsons, Andrew and Grayson Hensley of Indian Trail.
The memorial service to celebrate Curt's life will be held Monday, July 5, at 2 p.m., at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion Ave. in Cornelius. A Military burial will follow at the church's cemetery and a reception afterwards in the Family Life Center at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church Building Fund, 19600 Zion Ave., Cornelius, NC 28031.
James Funeral Home is caring for the family and the obituary was lovingly written by the family.
Published by Mooresville Tribune on Jun. 30, 2021.