Curtis McNeill Sr.February 18, 1918 ~ October 6, 2016 (age 98)
Curtis McNeill, Sr., was born on February 18, 1918 in Elizabethtown, NC to the late William Sidney McNeill and Mary Andrews. He transitioned his 98 year mission in life on October 6, 2016. He was the second oldest of 5 children. Curtis was raised in Red Springs, North Carolina and graduated from Robeson County public schools. During his childhood, he attended Pantherford Presbyterian Church in Red Springs with his family.
After graduating from Robeson County public schools, Curtis began his lifelong career as a cook for the government and armed forces, Fort Bragg, and Highsmith Rainey Hospital. He was the first head cook of Cape Fear Valley Hospital when they opened in 1954. He worked at Cape Fear Valley for 23 years until he retired.
Curtis was also a custom tailor. He made all of his clothes and sewed for many people throughout the years until his health began to fail.
Early in his adult life, Curtis met Vivian Douglas. Together they had one son, William Herman Douglas, Sr. William was mostly called “Willie Herman”.
In 1947, Curtis married, Elmer Francis Deberry of Raeford. They were married 17 years. To this union, 2 children were born, Ollie Mae and Curtis Jr.
Upon moving to Fayetteville, Curtis joined Haymount Presbyterian Church. He was recently honored as being the 2nd oldest member of Haymount. Curtis was also a member of the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge.
Curtis was a tall, thin, well dressed quiet man, who kept to himself and always had a kind word to say to everyone. He loved cooking and fishing. He has catered many parties for government officials throughout the years. Curtis was known for his famous dressing and giblet gravy!
He was preceded in death by: Three siblings Rudolph, Douglas and Myrtle; two children, Willie Herman and Ollie Mae; one grandson, William Jr. “Billy”; and one great-great grandson Adonis.
Among those who cherish his legacy are: his son Curtis Jr., wife Pia, of Fayetteville. Six grandchildren, Laconia Higgs (Felicia) of Indiana, Jimmy Morgan (Angela) of Georgia, Antione Hill (Angelic) of Fayetteville, Dominique Hill (Robert) of Fayetteville, Kimberly Hood of Georgia, Apostle Stanley Douglas (June) of Dunn. Twenty-four great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. One brother Clifton Reid of Lumberton. Two living nieces, Mary “Candy” Campbell and Lillian Bethea. And one living nephew Ronald “Jimmy” McPhaul.