Charles Andrew “Andy” Curtis, 95 of Bryant, passed away July 22 at the home of his son, the late Charles Jeffrey “Jeff” Curtis and daughter-in-law, Sondra Haile Curtis.
Born Sept. 3, 1916, to John Anderson and Jeffie Howard Curtis in Paron, Andy was one of nine children, all of whom are deceased. The siblings included Eunice Jackson; Allen, Don, Ed and Kelso Curtis; Rosa Lee Rickard; and Ellene Lancaster. He married Jimmye Raye Ramsey Curtis in 1944 and they had one son, Charles Jeffrey.
He is survived by three grandchildren: Brendan “Keith” Moore, assistant administrator of Baptist Rehab Institute; Jordan Alexandra Curtis Sherrod, ARORA organ procurement coordinator; and Susan Elisabeth Curtis, a UAMS oncology nurse.
Andy was a paint contractor by trade, working on state projects such as dam construction, bridge painting and as a “uke-driver. He could be coaxed into painting projects for family and friends, but he also had an affinity for spray paint in the can — once painting a pair of canvas tennis shoes black when they got too dirty to be white again and proudly displaying his creative solution.
His beloved Jimmye Raye succumbed to breast cancer in February 1996, and his grandchildren love to tell of the first Christmas presents after her death. They came in a cardboard box which had been spray-painted a festive green. Family members say they will always treasure their list of “Andyisms,” such as a favorite, “Ignorance is blessed.”
Andy taught all three grandchildren to fish — on the river or the lakes — as he and Jimmye Raye spent many days camping in Hot Springs with their close friends, Wylie and Lena Vaughn of Benton. Wylie and Andy had been best friends since third/fourth grades in Paron.
After Jimmye Raye’s passing, Andy enjoyed meeting his friends at the adult centers of Saline Co, where he liked to dance and tell fishing stories. It was there, soon after, where he was attracted to the beautiful Rose Scott of East End, who became his life’s companion. Comparing notes, they realized Andy had refereed her Bauxite High School basketball games where she was a team member. They discovered they had more in common, as they made a periodic trek to Tunica with their friends, Norman and Pat Vaught; did a little gardening (tomatoes and roses); played ball with Rose’s dog, Baby; and sat evenings on her front porch, just enjoying the view.
The family expressed gratitude to the Baptist Hospice nurses and nurses’ aides, who made him comfortable; and to Rose and her daughter, Kim Cupples, for their contribution to Andy’s comfort and longevity. They were his family for 16 years. His passing leaves a big void in both our families. He was a longtime member of Holland Chapel Baptist Church.
Graveside service will be at 5 p.m. Friday, July 27, at New Friendship Cemetery, 7400 Highway 190 in Benton.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at Ashby Funeral Home in Benton.
Honorary pallbearers are Keith Moore, Jordan Sherrod, Mikal Childers, Heath Cupples and Dwight Cupples.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Saline County, P.O. Box 305, Benton, AR 72018.
Online guest book: ashbyfuneralhome.com.