William ‘Bill’ Welby Curtis

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, July 12, 2017

William “Bill” Welby Curtis of Vicksburg passed from this life to heaven July 10, 2017, at Merit Health River Region. He was 95.

He was born Sept. 23, 1921, in Hazlehurst, the eldest child of Welby and Ruby Curtis. He married his beloved wife, Janie, Aug. 17, 1953. He was a faithful follower of Christ, a devoted husband, loving dad to his children and a father figure to many others beyond his immediate family.

He graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in civil engineering. He retired from the Mississippi River Commission as chief of operations after 30 years of service. The Motor Vessel R/V Curtis is named in honor of his service to his country and the Corps of Engineers.

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He also retired as a colonel from the 412th Engineering Command. He also served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II as a signalman and at the invasion of Normandy. His personal recount of his WWII experience was recorded by the WWII Museum and a permanent video display is at the WWII Museum Boeing Center in New Orleans.

He had a life of service to others through Meals on Wheels, Gideons International, The Salvation Army and coaching church softball and Little League baseball. He also shaped many young men’s lives as a 25-year Boy Scout Leader of Troop 111. He was a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church and the Joy Group of CSUMC.

He enjoyed fishing, rose gardening, playing bridge, hosting family functions and cattle farming.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Janie; his parents; his brothers, Chelsie Ray and Julian; sister, Inez; grandchildren, William Michael Curtis Jr., Lindsey Brook Maggio and Chris Winfield.

He is survived by his children, Sharon (Charles) Winfield, Beth (David) Maggio, Leigh Cook and Mike (Denesha) Curtis; grandchildren, Ryan Winfield, Justin (Amanda) Maggio, Blair Cook, Lauren Winfield, Corey (Teva) Winfield and Cameron Curtis; brothers, LF (Rachel) Curtis and Donald (Sherrill) Curtis; sister, Ann (Jack) Mirick; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Thursday, July 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crawford Street United Methodist Church, with services starting at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Tom Atkins officiating.

Burial will follow at Greenlawn Gardens Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Ryan Winfield, Justin Maggio, Beau Brooks, Benjamin Brooks, David O’Bannon, Pete O’Bannon, Mike Allred and Corey Winfield.

Family members wish to thank his caregivers Percy and Shirley Brown, Jackie Rodgers, Otis Petties, Elizabeth Wicker and Private Home Care.

Memorials can be made to the Crawford Street United Methodist Church 900 Crawford St. Vicksburg, Ms 39180 or to Gideons International, 2771 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, Ms 39216.