Curtis Smith was born March 6, 1934, in Belmont, NC, one of nine children. After his mother died when he was 7 years old, he and some of the other younger children were raised by various older sisters. He joined the United States Army at age 20, on April 2, 1954. After taking his basic training at Ft. Jackson SC, he was at Camp Gordon GA, Ft. Sam Houston TX, and Camp Kilma NJ, before being sent to Geinhousen, Germany, for 3 years. Before returning to Ft. Jackson SC, he was also at Ft. Dix NJ, and Bad Kreuznach, Germany.
His family still lived in North and South Carolina. It was while visiting a sister in Rock Hill SC, in 1957, that he met the love of his life, Barbara. They were married in June 1958. Curtis was sent to Korea in 1959 for 13 months, leaving behind his young wife and their baby son.
On his return trip back to the states, he was stationed at the Army Research Center Burn Ward at Ft. Sam Houston TX, for two years. Then he was sent to Wurzburg, Germany for three years. A daughter was born to Curtis and Barbara in 1964. Upon returning to the states he was stationed at Ft. Brag NC and Ft. Benning GA. During these years Curtis received much medical training (equal to a Registered Nurse in civilian life).
Curtis went to Vietnam for 13 months in 1967 and 1968, after which he was at Ft. Hood TX, and then went back to Landstuhl, Germany. He finished his army career at the Coral Gables Induction Center in February 1975, after 21 years of active duty at home, overseas and in war.
After leaving the service, Curtis went to school for air conditioning and refrigeration. He also spent four years in welding and pipe fitting school. He worked as a Journeyman Pipefitter/Welder until another retirement at age 65.
In 2001, Curtis lost much of his vision to Macular Degeneration, but he has remained very involved in many activities. In the summer of 2014, he went to the Rehab Center for the Blind in West Palm Beach FL, to learn many independent living skills. Curtis has lived in Wellborn since August 9, 1982. He is a Christian and an active member of Wellborn Baptist Church.
In 2016, he served alongside his wife as the Grand Marshall of the Blueberry Festival’s Parade.