EVANS MILLS, NY — S. Harold Curtis, 97, Evans Mills, went to be with his Lord and Savior on December 13, 2019.
He was born June 2, 1922, in Rochester, NY, the son of Samuel H. Curtis and Amelia A. Greisel Curtis. He attended the Rochester public schools and graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in 1939. He attended Alfred University and SUNY’s Buffalo State Teachers College. During his college days and in the summers, he worked part time at a variety of jobs including in war production at Eastman Kodak, Rochester and at Curtiss-Wright Aircraft, Buffalo, New York.
On July 9, 1943 he was activated into the Army Signal Corp for the war’s duration. Harold was deployed in April 1944 to England and then assigned to the 17th Replacement Depot that landed on the shores of Normandy on July 18, 1944 under the command of General Patton’s Third Army. He served in France and Germany until the war ended in May 1945 and attended the Army University Center in Shrivinham, England. Upon his return to the States in December 1945, he was honorably discharged.
Upon graduation from the Buffalo State Teachers College in June 1946, he married the love of his life, Harriette J. Ebblie on Aug. 17, 1946, daughter of John W. and Clara Belle Gailey Ebblie at the Gailey home in Stone Mills, New York. The two began their teaching careers together in Johnson City, NY, where Harold taught Industrial Arts (Metal Shop) at the C. Fred Johnson Junior High School. Harold continued his education at New York University where he taught industrial arts undergraduates as he earned his master’s degree in industrial arts supervision in 1949.
In the Fall of 1949, he was hired by the Board of Cooperative Services (BOCES) to teach industrial arts at Evans Mills and Philadelphia high schools. With the centralization of schools in 1955 and the formation of the Indian River Central School District, Harold taught industrial arts and was also appointed the district’s director of Adult Education. After additional course work at St. Lawrence University, he became the guidance counselor at Indian River and then, in 1965, guidance coordinator of the newly formed Jefferson County Vocational Technical Center. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1984. After retirement, he traveled the continental lower 48 states as well as back to Europe to visit places he served.
In the community, Harold and his wife became actively involved in the Calcium Community Church when it reopened in 1955, until they became members in 1986 of the Parkside Bible Church, Watertown, serving as Deacon, Elder, Trustee and a member on various committees. Over the years, he served as a commissioner of the Calcium Fire District, a member of the Town of LeRay Zoning Board of Appeals, a member & past president of the Jefferson County Mental Health Association. As a member of Gideons International, holding various positions during his 50 plus year membership, he was able to witness to many churches in the area by distributing Bibles to many of the area hotels and motels throughout the North Country.
He is survived by his wife Harriette E. Curtis, three sons: Robert H. Curtis (Kathy), Theresa, N.Y., David J. Curtis (Marilyn), Delmar, N.Y., Peter S. Curtis (Colleen), Evans Mills, N.Y., nine grandchildren, one step-grandchild, ten great-grandchildren, five step great-grandchildren and one step great-great grandchild.
He was predeceased by his sister Miriam Walldroff, by 2 days, and a daughter, Christine Belle in her infancy.
Calling hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at their home at 27834 Nellis Road N. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Parkside Bible Church, Watertown New York.
Donations may be made to the Gideons International at the Watertown Camp of Gideons, P.O. Box 487, Watertown, NY 13601 or to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are with Frederick Bros. Funeral Home, Theresa, NY.
Condolences may be made online at www.frederickbrosfuneralhome.com.