Richard D. Curtis Sr.
Richard D. Curtis Sr., retired treasurer of Curtis Farms Supermarkets and Curtis Compacts, died at Milton Hospital Saturday, June 12, 2010. He is survived by his loving wife Connie, his son Richard Jr. and his wife Joan, his daughters Lisa and Deborah and her husband Burgess. Cherished grandfather of Caroline, Natalie, Teresa, Kathleen and Matthew. Brother of David Curtis of Florida, Jean Barrett of Braintree, Dorothy Kelley of Milton and the late Thomas Curtis, S. Alan Curtis and Mary Berlo.
Dick was born on October 15, 1922, in Dorchester, to Thomas and Alice (Callahan) Curtis. He graduated from Quincy High School in 1940 and went on to work as a butcher in his father’s meat market. After enlisting in 1942 during World War II, he was sent to the Tenth Armored Division where he was promoted to Sergeant. He was selected to participate in the Army Specialized Training Program at Camp Gordon, GA. After only 4 months of intensive training, the war turned bad and the Army discontinued the program. Dick was ordered to join the ‘Battle Babies’ of the Army’s 99th Infantry Division and shipped out of Boston in September 1944. He arrived in Belgium to join his Division on the front in the Battle of the Bulge, attacking the Siegfried line in Germany. In December 1944, Dick received dangerous shrapnel wounds from an 88 millimeter shell and was saved by 4 medics who carried him 5 miles through the knee deep snow in the Ardennes to a first aid tent. He was transferred to a hospital in Malmady, Belgium and was then immediately evacuated when the Germans moved to invade the town. After several operations, he recuperated in southern England, where his brother, David, who was with the Airs Corp and stationed there, was able to visit him. Dick considered himself lucky to be wounded early in World War II as his regiment went on to suffer a 115% casualty loss with many of the replacements killed, wounded, or captured.
He returned to the U.S. and attended Burdett College, graduating with a degree in accounting, in 1947. In 1954, Dick and his brothers opened up their first grocery store in Quincy, MA and went on to operate 7 Curtis Farms Supermarkets, 32 Curtis Compact convenience stores, and a liquor store, all on the South Shore. Dick was president of the Holy Name Society at St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Milton and belonged to both the Rotary and Knights of Columbus for over 20 years.
In 1978, Dick retired and took up golf as a second career. He was an avid golfer and a member of Wollaston Golf Club for 55 years. After 32 attempts, he finally won the Fallon Cup tournament with Geoff Sisk in 1989. He served twice as golf chairman and house chairman, and then as vice president and president. He received Wollaston’s first Distinguished Service Award in 2000. Later on, he founded and directed the annual Octogenarian Tournament at the club. He golfed in the winters in Florida at Jupiter Hills Country Club for 16 years and Tequesta Country Club for 2 years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Elizabeth Church, corner of Reedsdale Road and Randolph Avenue, Milton, Thursday June 17 at 11:00 AM. Relatives and friends invited. Visiting hours at Dolan Funeral Home, 460 Granite Avenue, MILTON, Wednesday 4-8 PM. Interment Milton Cemetery.
Donations in Dick’s memory may be made to Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 811 W. Evergreen, Suite 303, Chicago, IL 60640.