Curtis and CharlesToday marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of my brother, Curtis.  He was taken from us at the age of 57 from a heart attack.  (pictured on left with my husband, Charles)

Curtis was the family clown.  You couldn’t be around him for more than five minutes without laughing.  He was 6′ 5″ tall, a giant of a man, with an even bigger personality.  He loved to joke around and he teased me unmercifully as a child.   He was the athletic director at the Knoxville Boys Club.  I ran track for the Boys Club!  I guess you could say I had an inside track.  At age twelve, I won the State Championship in Track & Field for three events.  Curtis would say things like, “Why don’t you wear those medals on your chest?  At least you would have something there.”  Then, he would roar with laughter. 

Sonny is the first of six of us.  As teenagers, Sonny and Curtis would go out knocking on doors to find lawns to mow.  Curtis was a salesperson.  He could talk anyone into anything!  He would get the jobs for them to do, then he would sit under a tree and read a book while Sonny did the work.

When he was a young boy, he had a pet duck.  He was playing with it and stepped on it accidentally.  It was then a dead duck and his goose was cooked!  Mother told him to bury the duck in the field.  A few days later, she was walking through the field and saw something sticking up out of the ground.  Curtis had buried the duck with it’s bill sticking out of the ground.  The bill had a daisy in it.  No one could ever say he wasn’t creative.

Curtis and Sonny were only eighteen months apart in age, so they were together most of the time.   They shared a room.  Daddy was a pretty strict father, particularly when it came to dating.  He had set a curfew of 10:00 PM.  “If you aren’t in this house by ten o’clock, I’m locking the doors and calling the police.” he warned.

Curtis was out late and Daddy had locked the doors.  Sonny was fast asleep.  “Sonny, Sonny, let me in.”, Curtis was tapping on the window and attempting to wake his brother.  Sonny stumbled to the window to open it for Curtis to climb through.  Curtis creeped in through the window, or so he thought.  His foot caught on the curtains and pulled them down, along with the window shade.  The racket woke up all of us.  Daddy went flying through the house, and you might imagine the ending to the story.  I can assure you it included an end!

Most of the family called Curtis, Brother.  I called him Bruth.   I miss him so much, but his memory lives on in my heart.  When I think about him, it brings a smile to my face.  He brought lots of smiles to lots of faces, and now he is doing the smiling…down on us.


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8 Comments on “Brother”

  1. What wonderful memories you have of your brother. He must have been a truly special man! Thank you for sharing them with us on this day.

  2. feistysideoffifty Says:


    That is such a loving tribute to your brother. I’m sure you do miss him terribly. He must have been a real character and you had to have shared some wonderful times together. His personality is captured in that photo. What a great smile!

  3. Susan Says:

    I’m sure your brother is smiling down on you right now. The love you two shared shines through in this article. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh Pam, I truly love and admire you for letting us into your world, these family stories are beautiful and always such a pleasure to read!

    Thanks for allowing us to learn more about you, and I am sure Curtis is simply beaming.

    God bless!

  5. Kelly Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. He was a wonderful person and an even more wonderful father. He taught his four children so much, but the one thing that keeps me going from day to day is the trust and faith in God that he showed on a daily basis. His faith never ceased. He believed in our Heavenly Father whole heartedly. My two brothers, sister, and myself grew up in church and seeing the faith our dad and mom had has made us better adults and parents. He was a strict father who ruled with a tight fist, but a very loveing heart. He had such a gentle heart. I miss him terribly, but know that I will see him again one day. Thank you aunt Pam for such a great tribute. Our family is truly special and it started with our grandparents teaching their children the important things in life (faith and family being at the top).

  6. Buzz Says:

    Kelly forwarded this post to me. Thanks Pam!!

    I visited his grave today, its been a long time since I went by there. He’s in my thoughts often and he lives on in my corny jokes as well.

    Take care,
    Buzz 🙂

  7. Holly Says:

    Wow, this certainly brought tears to my eyes just thinking about “Papaw”. I miss him so very much and think of him often. I cant believe that it has been 10 years, he was the most wonderful man and such an amazing grandpa! He took me to work with him and bought me expensive gifts; he spoiled me rotten! I miss his corny jokes but as my Dad said, they live on through him. Thank you Aunt Pam, this was really special.

  8. Sherry Eastwood Says:

    I’m so touched by these tributes to the giant (in stature as well as heart) of a man who was loved so much by everyone who knew him and who was my beloved brother-in-law. I was a pre-teen when Judy, my sister, and Curtis were dating. He was very athletic and could kick a football from our large backyard over the top of the house to the front yard w/o touching the 2-story roof (I was always impressed by that!…still am!). I was also quite proud of my sister’s handsome boyfriend when he was a substitute teacher of an 8th grade class (I was in 7th). He was a hit with everyone, and made me very popular with the upper classmen after that! He was very much in touch with the child within which made him a very special person and the young and old alike called him “friend”. He was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met and would give you anything you needed or wanted. I blew this sweet prince a spiritual kiss the last time I saw him as my farewell. I miss him, but am comforted that he is with our Lord and that he left such a wonderful legacy with all who knew him. I’m so glad he was a part of my family.

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