Obituary of Horace Brogdon Curtis, Jr.
Horace Brogdon Curtis, Jr. 93, died Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at Covenant Place. Born September 17, 1927, at Tuomey Hospital, Sumter, SC, to Horace Brogdon and Eleanor Girard Kolb Curtis. His paternal grandparents were Horace Beach and Maggie Brogdon Curtis. Maternal grandparents were Robert Jehu and Irene Girard Geddings Kolb. With exception of college and Naval service, he spent his entire life in Sumter. Following high school, entered Clemson College in 1944, the month before his 17th birthday, completing freshman courses in engineering before volunteering for service in US Navy in August 1945, at the close of World War II, serving on active duty at Camp Peary, Virginia, until August 1946, with honorable discharge as Third Class Petty Officer. Re-enlisted in Naval Reserve for four-year term as Yeoman Third Class, on inactive duty. Returned to Clemson for fall term of 1946, transferring in Spring of 1947 to University of South Carolina, Columbia, receiving BS in Business Administration in June 1949. While at University, became member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He subsequently served as a board member of the USC Alumni Association and of the USC Sumter Educational Foundation. After college, returned home to join his mother and sisters in the operation of the family business, Sumter Music House, pending recall to active duty in Navy during Korean Conflict, with all reserve enlistments having been extended by President for one year. Re-entered active Navy in early October 1950 and assigned to Naval Receiving Station, Charleston, SC. At the end of extended enlistment period, was discharged August 20, 1951. He was a 50-year member of American Legion Post 15. Returning to Sumter, accepted position with Geo. H. Hurst & Sons, furniture dealers and funeral directors, staying until 1959, when he became manager of Sumter Office Supply Company. In 1953 Dorothy Juanita Freeman moved to Sumter from Chimney Rock, NC, to work as a medical technologist at the Shaw AFB Hospital. Juanita and Horace married at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Chimney Rock. Helen was born in 1955, Steve in 1957, Rick in 1958, and Bobby in 1960. Juanita died in 2008. All of the children graduated from the public schools of Sumter, and from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. When the City Clerk & Treasurer position with the City of Sumter became open, Horace applied, was hired, and in 1961 began a career in local government, from which he retired in January 1990, after serving 13 years as City Manager. He is a life member of the SC City-County Management Association, of which he is a past-president. He also was a former member of International City Management Association. In the early 1980s, to provide public employees in South Carolina the opportunity to conveniently defer a portion of their earnings and the taxes thereon, the state legislature created the State Deferred Compensation Commission to manage a deferred compensation program. Several seats on the commission, by statute, were to be filled by specific office holders and others on appointment by the Governor upon recommendation of the Budget and Control Board. Horace was appointed to represent municipal employees on the original commission and reappointed for consecutive terms in that category until his retirement from the City, whereupon he was appointed to represent retired public employees for several terms during the next ten years. For some forty years he was an active member of the Sumter Optimist Club, serving in various capacities, including president. He was a life member of Optimist International. He was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Sumter Chapter of The Salvation Army, and he served for more than twenty years, filling various offices, including that of Board Chairman. He also was a past chairman of the Boys Club board. He was a past chairman of the Henry Shelor District, Boy Scouts of America, and also served a term as Advancement Chairman for the Pee Dee Area Council. As a 50-year-plus member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Horace served on the Administrative Board and many committees. He was Lay Leader, choir member, Sunday School teacher for both youth and adult classes, and was a past-president of the FaHoLo Sunday School Class and of the Boyle Bible Class. Surviving are his children, Helen Curtis Hatfield (Burt) of Sumter; Stephen G. Curtis (Betsy) of Manning. Richard B. Curtis (Kathryn) of Greenville, Robert F. Curtis (SaraLynn) of Columbia; 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are two sisters, Margaret Curtis Ward. and Jane Curtis Kirby Ward, both of Sumter and his dear friend Jule Land of Greenville, SC. In addition to his parents and his wife, he was pre-deceased by a sister, Eleanor Curtis Rogers Boone. Graveside services will be held at 2 P.M. Sunday in the Sumter Cemetery with Rev. Joseph James officiating. Memorials may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 226 W. Liberty Street, Sumter, SC 29150. On-line condolences may be made at www.sumterfunerals.com Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home & Crematory, 221 Broad Street, Sumter, is in charge of the arrangements (803) 775-9386