Corporal George Miller Curtis
U. S. Army Air Forces
Ser. # 6959056
July 19, 1919 - June 19, 1942
Ethlyn Verle Miller Curtis
Palacios High School Memorial
* Military basic
training today introduces all incoming personnel to the fundamental
concepts of infantry procedures.
George M. Curtis
A Memorial Service for George M. Curtis, son of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Curtis, 3rd street, Palacios, was held in the Methodist Church on last Sunday afternoon at 3:00 o'clock. He was serving in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. There was a representative attendance, which included Mrs. George M. Curtis, her mother Mrs. Gregory, one brother, three sisters from Edinburg, all the near relatives of the deceased, and many other friends of the family. The meeting was opened by the reading of scripture by Rev. Laurence Greenhaw, pastor of the Church. A Hymn was sung, and Rev. L. W. Crouch, pastor of the Baptist Church led in prayer. At the request of the relatives, Rev. J. E. Mack, former pastor of the Methodist Church here, addressed the congregation. Among other verses from the Gospel of St. John he chose the following: "Now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world; and I come to Thee. As I am in the world, so are ye in the world. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was about to go out into the Garden of Gethsemane and to the cross, and to give His life for the sins of the whole world. The young men in this war have given their lives, and are giving them for freedom--freedom of religion, of assemblages, and of the press. He spoke of our American inheritance, and the cost, through the centuries, of the priceless blessings of civilization. The members of the early Church as recorded in the book of Acts, were willing, in the very presence of threatening power, to forfeit their lives for freedom to testify, to the power of God, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (Acts 4, vv. 19-20). It has always been so. This tragic war is a struggle for an open Bible and the soul of man, not for his mind and body only, but for his soul. When we think of democracy, we are accustomed to think only of political democracy, but the word in American history has meant far more than this; it has meant the love of home, the establishment of high schools and colleges, the love of learning and of culture, the love of books, poetry, and music. For these mercies and blessings and many others, men have been willing to die. And so George M. Curtis had given his life on the altar of sacrifice. Rev. Mack spoke with much feeling of his knowledge of George M. Curtis and his young wife, while he was pastor in Palacios, and those who are left behind to carry on.
Rev. George Gillespie read the following: George Miller Curtis was born in Palacios, Texas, July 19th 1919, and gave his life June 19, 1942, in the Philippines. He graduated from Palacios High School with the class of 1937. He took a deep interest in football, and played on the high school team. He was also deeply interested in Boy Scout work and was within a few merits of being an Eagle Scout. He attended the Texas College of Arts and Industries at Kingsville, and while there became a member of the Texas National Guard. He joined the regular army, infantry, in 1939, and later was transferred to the Army Air Corps. He received his Air Corps training at Barksdale Field, La., and Savannah Air Base, Savannah, Ga. He was united in marriage to Avis Gregory in Palacios on April 14th, 1941. He sailed from the States, Oct. 1941, with the 27th Bomb Group, for Manila, Philippine Islands. He was with General MacArthur's men on Bataan, of whom General McArthur said when leaving: "I shall never forget the vision of those grim, gaunt, valiant men, I shall return." He returned on October 20th, 1944. The last word received from George M. Curtis was a radiogram from Cebu March 14, 1942. He had, however, written a letter in February, 1942, which was not received until August.
As a small boy he was baptized and became a member of the Methodist Church.
The following is from the U. S. Government to his wife and relatives:―
Citation of Honor United States Army Air Forces
Corporal George M. Curtis
who gave his life in the performance of his duty July 1, 1944.
He lived to bear his country's arms. He died to save its honor. He was a soldier...and he knew a soldier's duty. His sacrifice will help to keep aglow the flaming torch that lights our lives...that millions yet unborn may know the priceless joy of liberty. And we who pay him homage and revere his memory, in solemn pride rededicate ourselves to a complete fulfillment of the task for which he so gallantly has placed his own life upon the altar of man's freedom.
H. H. Arnold, Commanding General, Army Air Forces
Rev. George F. Gillespie, who had known George M. Curtis since he was a child spoke of his friendship with him throughout all the years. Like many boys in their late teens, he was weak and uncertain about his future, and his destiny. When he joined the army he seemed to come into the fullness of his manhood. The various exercises in the gymnasium, the discipline, the hardship, the mental training through obedience and in other ways, gave him the qualities that he needed. He was happy in his new home life, and told the speaker in his last conversation with him that he intended to make the army his career. St. Paul said in his last letter to his young friend Timothy, the last letter he ever wrote: "Take thou my share of hardship along with me as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." George M. Curtis took his share of hardship on Bataan and Corregidor, and gave his life for God, for country, for freedom, and for us. He has entered into a richer and fuller life in the many mansioned home.
Rev. Gillespie used as his Scripture
passages the 73rd Psalm and St. John ch. 12, v 24. He told the
story of the writer of the Psalm as given in its verses and
pleaded with his hearers to keep at all costs their own personal
faith. He mentioned Phillips Brooks' sermon on this Psalm, taken
from vv 16 and 17, with the theme: "The sanctuary of God, the
place of solved problems." He asked his hearers to memorize vv
23-26 which he called on of the noblest and loftiest and holiest
utterances in all of the Old Testament. The speaker also drew
some lessons from St. John ch. 12, v 24--"Verily, verily, I say
unto you. Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die,
it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit."
He said that during all his life his own favorite foreign
missionary had always been Henry Martyn, who died at the early
age of 31 in the Arabian desert--with no one near him but a
native attendant--not a single intimate friend to smooth his
dying pillow. He was a brilliant scholar, with a weak body, and
his life had been beset by keen sorrow, and trials, and
sufferings. It has been said that the story of his life has sent
more men and women to the foreign field than any other
missionary biography that was ever written. So that age hasn’t
much to do with 'that most precious thing in life'--influence.
And so with George M. Curtis, and all these other young men from
our district--they will live forever in the memory of their
friends. The speaker closed by reading a beautiful little poem
written by a woman in England during the first World War. It
describes young men leaving college to go to the war. The last
"God rest you, happy gentlemen
Who laid your good lives down,
Who took the khaki and the gun,
Instead of cap and gown,
God send you to a fairer clime
Than even Oxford town."
The meeting closed with a hymn and a benediction.
Thursday, June 7, 1945
Mrs. Ethlyn Verle Curtis, a Palacios resident for 62 years, passed away at 8:05 Tuesday evening May 4 at Wagner General Hospital where she had been confined for many months.
A daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Miller she was born October 21, 1891, in Barton, North Dakota. Until a few years ago she assisted her husband, George Wright Curtis, in operating their grocery store. She was a member of the Palacios Chapter 125 Order of the Eastern Star, the First United Methodist Church and was an honorary member of the Wednesday Club.
She was preceded in death by a son, George M. who was killed in World War II in the Philippines.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6, at the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. T. Irving King, Jr. and Rev. Charles Simpson officiating. Interment was in the Palacios Cemetery.
She is survived by her husband, one daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Pease of San Antonio; two sons, Marvin and Noel "Potsy" of Palacios; one brother, James Miller of Houston, and five grandchildren.
Palacios Beacon, May 12,
Funeral services for George Wright Curtis, 97, of Palacios will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church of Palacios with the Rev. Doug Blanton officiating. Burial will be in Palacios Cemetery.
Mr. Curtis was born Nov. 25, 1889, in Sabina, Ohio, to Harrison and Alpha R. Wright Curtis and died March 18, 1987, at Leisure Lodge Nursing Home in Palacios.
A resident of Palacios since 1910, he was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Palacios.
Survivors include a daughter, Dorothy Lee Pease of San Antonio; a son Marvin L. Curtis of Palacios; seven grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.
Pallbearers include Sonny Brhlik, Fred Huitt, Jimmie Smith, Ted Bates, Jr., Woody Wilson and Sammy Davidson.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ethlyn Verle Curtis, and two sons, George Miller Curtis and Noel Potsy Curtis.
Arrangements are with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home Palacios,
The Daily Tribune,
March 19/20, 1987
Curtis – Miller
The home of Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Miller, on Morton Avenue, was the scene of a most beautiful home wedding Sunday morning at 8 o’clock, when their eldest daughter, Miss Evelyn Verle, was united to marriage to Mr. Geo. W. Curtis, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Curtis, all residents of Palacios. At the hour set the young couple unattended, marched down the stairs to the parlor to the strains of Wagner’s Bridal Chorus from “Lohengrin,” played on the piano by Mrs. R. G. Palmer, and took their place under a white bell suspended in a prettily decorated nook in the southwest corner of the room, where Rev. Bristor, pastor of the Christian church, performed the beautiful ring ceremony in a most impressive manner, and which was witnessed by the parents of both the bride and bridegroom, and Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Nash, grandparents of the bride, Miss Dell Miller and Mr. Glen Miller, her sister and brother, and Messrs. and Mesdames A. J. Tatum, T. L. Huffman, R. G. Palmer, John Bentler, D. L. Stump, Mrs. J. P. Green, Mrs. P. F. Arnold and daughter Miss Lura, Mr. O. C. Arnold and Mr. Raymond Tatum. Immediately after the ceremony the bridal party and guests were seated at a sumptuously laden table, and partook of a most inviting and bountiful wedding breakfast.
The bride, always most charming, was particularly lovely in a beautiful costume of white crepe du chein, carrying a boquet of white roses and evergreen, the groom appearing in the conventional black. The parlor and dining room were beautifully decorated with white roses and evergreen.
At noon Mr. and Mrs. Curtis were taken to Blessing by auto where they boarded the Brownsville train for Houston and Galveston on a short honeymoon expecting to return that night or today. The announcement cards say they will be home after Dec. 1st, by which time the elegant double home being built by the groom and his father on Pavilion street, will be completed.
The splendid young couple are among the best known and most popular young people of the city, and further introduction by the Beacon would be unnecessary. They are well-known to all our people, and it is a pleasure to say that all who know them are their friends and admirers, and who join with us in wishing Mr. and Mrs. Curtis unbounded joy, long life and prosperity, and all other good things essential to the making of their married life entirely happy and complete.
November 8, 1912
When he was 19 years old George Curtis stepped off a passenger train here, practically unknown, but his reputation as a groceryman had already preceded him.
George, who says he doesn't know how the word got ahead, but Sam Best, who operated a grocery at the location of Curtis's present store, came up and offered George a job as the youngster got off the train.
The grocery business was nothing new to Curtis, whose father and grandfather were grocerymen in his home town at Sabina, Ohio, near Dayton.
George's two living sons, Marvin and Noel "Potsy" are carrying on the tradition. Both are presently employed by their father at the Palacios Grocery and Market.
A third son, George M., died during World War II on a death march in the Philippines.
His only daughter, Mrs. Gordon Peas, is now living in San Antonio. She taught music in the schools here before her marriage.
George was born in Sabina and attended public schools there. He started working in his father's and grandfather's grocery when he was ten years old, and has been connected with the grocery business almost every since.
However, he took time off to attend a business college in Dayton and Lebanon University in Lebanon, Ohio.
When he was 19 years old, he came south to Palacios because he didn't like the cold weather in Ohio.
After working for Best a number of years, he also worked in the grocery business with R. J. Hill, T. R. Brandon, his father and Tatum and Bob Sisson.
For a number of years he took a turn at other trades when he and Sisson ran an automobile business and for 10 years George handles the Magnolia Wholesale agency here.
He worked for Crawford Packing Company for a time in charge of the Machine Shop books and at Camp Hulen.
Then he purchased the Palacios Grocery and Market, located in the Wolstein Building.
Curtis moved the business to its present location across from the post office about five years ago.
He married Ethlyne Verle Miller, who came here with her family from North Dakota, in 1912. She still helps in the operation of the grocery.
George's greatest outside interest is in baseball and all other sports except basketball. A quiet, mild mannered man, he managed a semi-pro team here several years, going through one season undefeated.
Most of the harder work of the business is now practically taken over by his two sons, but George will be around to help out until he's not physically able--to carry on the Curtis tradition.
Palacios Beacon, October 18, 1856
Special thanks to Federico Baldassarre of the Battling Bastards of Bataan who supplied information on the service of Corporal Curtis.
Copyright 2006 -
Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
Jan. 28, 2006
Jan. 14, 2009