- Benjamin A. Curtis, Jr., 95, of Tall Pines Drive, Lewiston, ME, died Wednesday, October 11, 2017 after a short illness at D'Youville Pavilion with his loving family at his side.
Dad was born in Presque Isle, ME, on February 1, 1922, the son of the late Benjamin A. and Hope A. (Keirstead) Curtis. He was educated in Maysville and Presque Isle schools, graduating from Presque Isle High School, Class of 1940 and then went on to graduate from the University of Maine at Orono in 1948, Class of 1944.
Dad was a member of the "Greatest Generation" and proudly served the United States, as a U.S. Army Corporal, Second/First Lieutenant during World War II in the Pacific Theatre of operations and as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves after the war. He was a member of the US invasion forces of the Philippines and Japan, serving as an Infantry Unit Commander and Maintenance Officer. Dad was awarded the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal.
Upon graduating from UMO with a degree in Agricultural Economics, Dad started work for the Maine Potato Growers Association in Houlton, ME, and then worked for the U.S. Dept. of Agricultural - Farmers' Home Administration in Belfast, South Paris, Orono, Augusta, and Lewiston, ME, serving as a Loan Officer, Deputy County/County Supervisor and Deputy District/District Supervisor. After retiring in 1982 with over 30 years of federal government service, he worked many years for Federal Crop Insurance, as an adjuster, across the U.S. on insurance issues involving crops from apples to rice. In 1982, Dad also began work with H&R Block and provided tax assistance services for 30 years, until the age of 90.
Dad was an avid sportsman, coach and sports fan. He played four years of baseball and basketball in high school, lettering in both sports. Dad played one year of baseball and four years of basketball at UMO, was Captain of the 1947-48 team. He played semi-pro basketball for the 'Houlton Collegians', coached American Legion baseball in South Paris, Little League and Babe Ruth baseball teams in Augusta. Dad enjoyed attending amateur and professional sporting events with his sons and his special companion. He was a familiar figure at Lewiston/Auburn area local baseball and football games. He loved to travel and cherished his trips to the Azores, Alaska, the Canadian Pacific Northwest and his numerous cross country drives, where he had the opportunity to interact with any and everybody. Dad loved "The County" and its residents. For over 20 summers, he would spend two weeks at camp on Portage Lake, ME, and travel throughout Aroostook, visiting family, friends, former colleagues and anyone he had a former acquaintance with, including their extended families. Dad never met a farmer he didn't respect.
Dad is survived by his special companion and travel buddy, Cathy Jordan of Biddeford, ME; his two sons, Stephen Curtis and wife, Rosemary of Chesapeake, VA, Michael Curtis and his wife, Rose of Augusta, ME; a sister, Joan Michaud of Columbia, SC; two grandchildren Kris Curtis of Bowdoinham, ME, and Jasmine Curtis of Portland, ME; three great-grandchildren Natalie, Grant and Holden Curtis of Bowdoinham, ME; and numerous special cousins, nephews and nieces, whom he dearly loved. Dad was predeceased by his ex-wife Theresa (Bouchard) Curtis, sisters Phyllis Jordan and Marion Curtis, and brother Col. Phillip Curtis.
Visiting hours will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on October 18, 2017 at Fortin Funeral Home, 70 Horton Street in Lewiston, ME. Services will be held there as well on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. followed by a military service on October 24, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at the Maine Veteran's Memorial Cemetery on 163 Mount Vernon Road in Augusta, ME. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either American Legion Post No. 88, 365 Central Drive, P.O. Box 83, Presque Isle, ME 04769-0083, where Dad was a Life Member or to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization. A service of The Fortin Group Funeral, Cremation and Monument Services, 70 Horton St. Lewiston, Maine 04240. 784-4584.
Published on  October 16, 2017