Thursday, January 23rd, 2014...8:21 am
James R. Curtis, ’78
Major James Russell Curtis of Marietta, GA passed away Sunday, January 19, 2014 at the Hospice Atlanta Center in Atlanta, Ga. Jim was born June 23, 1956 at the US Naval Air Station in Argentia, Newfoundland. After his father retired from the Navy, the family moved from Lakehurst NAS to nearby Toms River, NJ. Jim graduated from Toms River High School South in 1974. He attended the Citadel where he was very active in the campus Episcopal Church, serving on the vestry and as Senior Warden. After graduation from the Citadel in 1978 he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and designated a Logistical Officer. His first posting was with the Third Battalion Ninth Marines in Okinawa, Japan. After a year in Japan he was reassigned to Fleet Marine Force Atlantic at Camp Lejeune, NC as part of the Near Term Pre-position Shipping Program, providing quick response capability to hot spots around the world. After being promoted to 1st Lieutenant he graduated from Army Airborne School. He participated in three North Sea cruises in support of NATO missions including one assigned to the British Royal Marines in Norway. Jim was promoted to Captain prior to being released from active duty and joining the active reserves. While serving in the Reserves he was promoted to the rank of Major – an accomplishment well deserved. Jim graduated from Brick Computer Science Institute in the Certified IT Professional Programmer/Project Management program. He worked over 26 years in healthcare information technology. Jim married his beloved wife Marzena “Kasia” Bidas from Stargard Szczecinski, Poland in 1989. One year later, Major Curtis was recalled to active duty for service in Desert Storm/Desert Shield as VS4 Officer for the Sixth Motor Transport Battalion in Saudi Arabia. After the completion of Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Jim returned to the field of healthcare IT. His assignments included being one of three principal project managers implementing clinical systems at the National Institute of Health. Jim loved to travel, and together, he and Kasia travelled the world taking many trips abroad, especially to Poland. He became a permanent resident of Poland because of his love of his wife’s family and homeland. He loved the game of golf and even though he took it up later in life, he made two holes in one. Additionally, Jim was a talented chef who loved entertaining in his state-of-the art outdoor kitchen. Jim’s dedicated military service earned him numerous medals and commendations including: the National Defense Service Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2nd Award); Meritorious Unit Commendation; Navy Achievement Medal; Sharpshooter Rifle Badge; and Expert Pistol Badge. Jim was predeceased by his Father John Curtis II and his mother June Thompson Curtis. He is survived by his wife of 24 years Marzena “Kasia” Curtis of Marietta, GA; his brother David Curtis and his wife Tracey of Jackson, NJ; his sister Jonel Sallee of Lexington, KY and his brother John Curtis III and his wife Elenia of Jeffersonville, Indiana. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. A memorial service for Jim will be held on Saturday, January 25th, at the Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta (address is below). Immediately following the service, there will be a reception in the Fellowship Hall at the church. The family requests that no flowers be sent. For anyone who wishes to offer a memorial gift in Jim’s honor, the following are suggested: Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, 805 Mt. Vernon Highway NW, Atlanta GA 30327, (404) 255-4023s or Hospice Atlanta Center, 1244 Park Vista Drive, Atlanta GA 30319, (404) 869-3000.