Billy John Curtis
January 16, 1925-January 26, 2019
Was 94 years old, born in Sherman, Texas January 16, 1925, died January 26, 2019 in Hanford, CA.
Bill was the son of a gospel preacher, whose family moved many times as his Dad, George B. Curtis, traveled to preach the gospel wherever they went and established congregations in small towns throughout the Midwest and Southwestern United States. Bill Joined the United States Navy in 1943 and served as an aerial photographer in the South Pacific during World War II.
In 1946, after the war, Bill settled in Silver City, New Mexico to start a Photo-graphy Studio business with his older brother, George. Bill met the love of his life, Mozelle Wilson in Silver City and they were married there in 1949. From there, they moved to Winslow, Arizona where they started their family. In 1953 they moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico where Bill went to work for Lockheed Air-craft Company as an aerial photographer working on numerous aerospace projects during the early days of our nation's space program. While in Alamo-gordo, Bill switched companies and went to work for Hughes Aircraft Company doing aerial photography on their many aerospace projects.
Hughes transferred Bill to Southern California in 1961 and he worked there for 33 years retiring in 1990 as head of the Motion Picture Division at Hughes Corporate Headquarters. Bill was known in the defense industry as one of the best aerial photographers and motion picture cameraman around. He won numerous awards for his individual films as a producer and director and won the “Best Photo-grapher” award from the defense industry's Film Producers Association.
Bill served as a Deacon in the Church of Christ in Alamogordo, New Mexico and as an Elder at the Redondo Beach and Hanford Churches of Christ. After retire-ment, Bill pursued the hobbies he loved, traveling, photography and painting. He was known as one of the master artists locally here in Hanford and had show's featuring his artwork in Hanford, Lemoore and Madera. He especially loved his time spent volunteering and working down at the Kings Art Center with his art friends and hanging out with buddies Bob Marcellus and Larry Heinze hanging artwork displays for the many shows there.
Bill is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mozelle Curtis of Hanford, son Gary Curtis and his wife Joyce of Hanford, daughter Deborah Smythe and her husband Dan from Lynden, Washington. He has 4 grandchildren, Danette Curtis of Hanford, Denise Curtis of Los Angeles, CA, Shannon Smythe and her husband Kevin Subers of Burien, Washington, Samuel Smythe and his wife Brieanna from Gunnison, Colorado, Step-granddaughter Alexa Arnold and her husband Josiah from Clovis, CA. Bill also has 6 great-grandchildren. Bill loved all of his family and dearly loved being around them.
A Memorial Celebration will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 2:00 p.m. at Hanford Church of Christ; 1596 W. Grangeville Blvd, Hanford, CA.
The family would like to thank Doctors Ashok Verma, Dustin Raber, and Tom Yang for their care of our beloved husband, father and grandfather. Also the 3rd floor nurses at Adventist Hospital and the nurses and staff at Kings Nursing and Rehabilitation Center who all cared for him during his life and his last days. You were all so kind and compassionate.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Bill's honor be made to Valley Christian Home 511 E. Malone St. Hanford, CA 93230 or to Kings Art Center 605 N. Douty St. Hanford, CA 93230.
Family and Friends are invited to view Bill's legacy at www.peoplesfuneralchapel.com and send condolences to the family.
Services by People's Funeral Chapel 559-584-5591.