Born in Newton to Fred P. Jones and Ruth S. Smith, he moved to Greenlawn, N.Y., where he graduated from high school. His parents moved to Swarthmore, Penn., in 1937 and Curtis went on to Duke University. At Duke he received a degree in Business Administration but his real interest was in sports. He was the first goalie for the undefeated unscored upon Duke soccer team. He was the manager for the Duke basketball team in his junior and senior years.
After graduation he moved to New York City and worked for the International Publishers for South America. His job was translating American comic books into Spanish. The one thing that he remembers most about his job there was meeting Carmen Miranda.
In February 1942, Curtis was drafted into the U.S. Army and entered Officer Candidate School. He was deployed overseas to Northern Ireland. He became the Executive Officer of C Company 133 in the Infantry, 34th Division. They were sent to Northern Africa. While in Tunisia he was captured by Rommel’s forces. He eventually ended up in Poland at OFLAG64 POW camp where he remained until January 1945. He was honorably discharged from the Army in December 1945. He joined the reserves and was a member until his retirement in 1965. He was recalled into active service during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1961 in charge of Strategic Intelligence Transportation Department for a year, stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
Curtis was married in 1946 to Norma Atherholt from Norwood, Penn. They spent their earlier years residing in Wallingford, Beaver, and Swathmore, Penn This is where they raised their family. They had a fun and active social life and valued their many friends. They celebrated New Year’s Eve with the same group of friends for over 50 years.
Curtis was employed for the Homer Laughlin China Company from 1956 to 1986. His major account was the Marriot Corporation. Upon his retirement, he still kept that account for the company.
In 2003, he and his wife moved to Martha’s Vineyard to be near his daughter and her family. They resided at Havenside in Vineyard Haven. He was an avid reader and proponent for public libraries. He loved that he could walk down the street to the local library. There was always a stack of books next to his chair.
He loved education and volunteerism. He and his wife attended 29 Elderhostels all over the world after his retirement. They volunteered at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and The West Tisbury Farmer’s Market.
Curtis was a member of the Cape Cod Chapter of the Military Officers of America Association and enjoyed attending their monthly meetings.
He is survived by his wife, Norma, his daughter Nancy Van Blaricum and her husband, Paul, and granddaughter Brynn Van Blaricum, his daughter Deborah Koines and her husband, Peter, granddaughter Erica Koines, granddaughter Olivia Giordano and her husband, Carl, grandson Nicholas Koines and great grandson TJ Zapata. He is also survived by his brother Stuart Jones, his sister, Rosamond Hammond, and numerous nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his brother Sumner Jones.
A memorial service will be held in Grace Church, William St., Vineyard Haven on Tuesday July 8 at 3 pm. Interment will follow in the memorial garden of Grace Church with full military honors offered by the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to either Grace Church or the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs, ccgfuneralhome.com.