Monthly Archives: May 2011

~ Happy Birthday Daddy ~

Richard Ernest Montoya May 31, 1935 - August 2, 1993

I was born on my father’s 25th birthday – and we always celebrated our day together – and things haven’t been the same since.  Today he would have been 76 years old.

Dad – look what I found out about you today.  I would LOVE to sit down and hear the story you would tell about this – you always did love to embellish a story.  🙂

Published 6/14/1953 in the Ogden Standard Examiner


Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Montoya


A Memorial Day Tribute

Thank you for the sacrifice you made for us.  We remember you today – and every day. 

Richard Ernest Montoya - my father - first man on the left: United States Army

Max George Montoya - My uncle - United States Army

Richard John Quiroz - My sister's father-in-law; United States Air Force

Roy Oliver Curbow - my husband's grandfather - United States Army

Roy Orville Curbow - my husband's uncle - United States Navy

Gene Oliver Curbow - my husband's uncle - United States Navy


Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Odds and Ends


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The Murder of Ira Grantham

Ira Grantham was the youngest son born to Hillard Cisero Grantham and Margaret E. Dickson and one of my husband’s first great grand uncles of the Grantham line. Ira was born 12 August 1887 in Whitney, Hill County, Texas.

Ira Grantham

By 1891, the family had relocated to the Oplin/Tecumseh area of Callahan County, Texas. There he met and married Ollie Estelle Arnold some time around 1912. Very often in these smaller communities the families overlap and it takes some time to untangle the web. The Arnold sisters married into our family lines on more than one occasion: Ollie Estelle Arnold married Ira Grantham; her sister Eunice Mae Arnold married Edgar Claude Atwood; and Emma Arnold married Columbus Eugene Atwood. Sheesh…there went an hour of my life linking all that together in the database! It appears that during the first phase of Ira’s and Ollie’s marriage, Ira farmed in Lawn/Oplin, Taylor County, Texas. By 1930 they owned their own home and Ira was working as a salesman for a grocery store. I don’t believe they ever had children, or at least I’ve found no record of any.

Ollie Estelle Arnold Grantham

Sometime in early 1941 Ollie and Ira relocated to Hobbs, Lea County, New Mexico. There he worked as a sales clerk in a clothing store ( K.C. Store).  Shockingly, and sadly, on 7 July 1951, Ira Grantham was murdered in a shoot-out that also killed a Hobbs, New Mexico police officer.  Experts from the Hobbs Daily News, published on 8 July 1951:

Dope Addicts Hopped Up, Police Report – Two men were brutally shot to death in busy downtown yesterday afternoon by a pair of hopped-up gunmen described by police as dope addicts. The dead: City Patrolman Robert B. Butler, 68, father of former Hobbs mayor, Ned Butler; and Ira Grantham, 63, a clerk at the K.C. Store, scene of the shooting. The men were killed almost without provocation. One of the attackers was captured immediately. The other was caught less than an hour later while attempting to steal his fifth car in a wild escape effort. He was wounded.  The prisoners: Speight Fondren Parks, 27 and Gene Afton Parks, 22, both of 422 West Taylor. Both are listed as employees of the National Tank Company, 623 North Grimes. Speight Parks, was shot and captured by Deputy Sheriff Bruce McCallum, Police Chief Ivan Reed and Bill Carpenter, about nine miles from Hobbs on the Denver City highway, and was quoted by McCallum as saying that he “killed a policeman and another man.” Both the brothers are in jail. They were charged on two counts of first degree murder, pending a preliminary hearing. Both Have Police Records – Both men have police records here. Gene Parks, apprehended on Broadway by City Patrolman R. C. (Pinky) Hamlin, had eight or 10 “yellow jacket” dope pills on his person, Hamlin said. Witnesses told this story of the killing: Butler, in charge of parking meters, was walking along Broadway and had stopped to talk with Ira Grantham, a clerk at the K. C. Store, 119 West Broadway, and Phil Veneer, owner of the store. This was about 3:30 p.m. The Parks brothers appeared staggering, and Butler went, to speak to them. He started to put his hand on one of them when the other hit the elderly police officer. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the brothers unfastened Butler’s gun holster and removed his service pistol. Butler Grantham and Vener hurried into the store, seeking to avoid being shot. Butler ran down the west aisle, Grantham the east. One of the brothers fired three times at the patrolman. Butler fell about 12 feet from the doorway. Grantham was shot about 25 feet from the door. Vener had hurried to the back of the store to telephone the police as the fight began.

Ira Grantham at the K.C. Clothing Store

Ira Grantham is laid to rest in Prairie Haven Memorial Park Cemetery in Hobbs, Lea County, New Mexico.

Final Resting Place


Ira’s widow, Ollie Estelle Arnold Grantham, never remarried.  She returned to Texas after Ira’s death, and died 15 Mar 1963 in Gladewater, Gregg County, Texas.  She is laid to rest there in Gladewater Memorial Park.

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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Grantham


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Jessie Richardson Grantham – Update

This is a wonderful example of how researchers can work together to reach a common goal.  I have recently taken over the management of Jessie’s memorial on  Out-of-the-blue, I received an email from one of the contributors to that same website.  She kindly provided me with Jessie Richardson Grantham’s death notice published the week after his death in The Messenger – September of 1903.

Jessie Richardson Grantham

J. R. Grantham, formerly of Whitney, died on Wednesday afternoon of last week, but the news did not reach THE MESSENGER until after our last issue was printed, He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. B. Coleman, at Stephenville, and his demise was a sudden and unexpected one.  For several weeks he had been visiting his son, M. M. Grantham, at Fort Worth, and feeling ill, on Wednesday of last week, he took the train for his home at Dublin. However, by the time he reached Stephenville, his illness had become so acute that at his request he was taken off the train there and conveyed to his daughter’s home where he died shortly afterward. For several years he had been a sufferer of sinking spells, and his death was due to that ailment.  His children in different parts of the state were promptly apprised of the sad intelligence and all of them but two were present at his funeral, which took place at Dublin Thursday.  Mr. Grantham was for several years an old and honored resident of Whitney and vicinity, and has engaged in mercantile pursuits here. For some time he was in the hardware and implement business, and later was a partner of C. C. Hicks in the grocery business here. He rested from business cares for quite a while, but again resumed the grocery business by himself, which he sold out to W.K, Byrum in 1898. He also sold his residence here to the latter and shortly thereafter he moved to Dublin, where he and his son-in-law, J. B. Coleman, engaged in the furniture business. He was also in the furniture business at one time in Whitney, in partnership with W. H. Newsom. Deceased died at the age of 69 years, 9 months and 16 days.  He was born in Union County,Georgia, and moved to Hill county, Texas in 1875, locating on the farm now owned by Weeks Bros,; west of Whitney, and which he sold to them. He was married May 11, 1851, in Union County, Georgia, to Miss S, A. Parks,who survives him, together  with the following eight children:  M. M. Grantham; of Fort Worth; H. C. and R. M. Grantham, of Callahan County; Bud Grantham of Nolan County; B. F. Grantham, of Whitney; Mrs. Emma Durham of Dublin; Mrs. Ada Winters, of Scurry County; and Mrs. J.B. Coleman, of Stephenville.

(*Note:  Another obituary appeared for Jessie Grantham during September 1903 in The Dublin Telephone.  If there are any Grantham researchers out there that have a copy of this obituary, I would certainly appreciate receiving a copy of it.  Thank you!)


Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Grantham


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John Ashford Atwood – Son of William Payton Atwood and Ellen Elizabeth West

John Ashford Atwood was the oldest son of William Payton Atwood and Ellen Elizabeth West, born 19 Aug 1874 in Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas. He spent a good part of his childhood in and around Round Rock – in fact John and his father were in town to buy new boots on the day that the outlaw Sam Bass was killed in a shootout with local lawmen and Texas Rangers (July of 1878).

John Ashford Atwood - from the collection of Brian Atwood

Sometime around 1882 the family relocated to Cross Plains, Callahan County, Texas. There John met and married Laura Jane Williams on 2 Jan 1894 at the age of 19.  Marriage announcement:  “John A. Atwood, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Atwood and Laura Jane Williams, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Y. R. Williams (familiarly known as Uncle Rab), were married in the home of her sister, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Mitchell by Rev. A. T. Ford, pastor of the old Board Flat Baptist Church on January 2, 1894. Relatives and friends who witnessed the marriage ceremony were her sister, Mrs. Georgia Mitchell and 3 eldest children; Rosa Atwood, sister; Rufus, Dan and Gene Atwood and Miss Mattie Pennell, cousins. Friends were Charley Barr, Frank Bryson, Lonnie Gardner, Della Gardner, Alice and Myrtle Acker, all of the Board Flat community.”

John and Laura made their first home in the Board Flat community – 2 1/2 miles east of Cross Plains, Texas. To them were born two daughters:

Myrtie Alice Atwood (1895-1976 – who married Joseph Warren Reid)

Myrtie Alice Atwood


Ruby Olive Atwood

Ruby Olive Atwood (1896-1981)

The family spent time living in Oplin, Abilene and Cross Plains, before finally settling in Lubbock County, Texas in 1926.

This article was written about John Ashford Atwood on the occasion of his 80th birthday on August 20, 1954 in The Lubbock Morning Avalanche:

20 YEARS AND FOUR GENERATIONS – J. A. Atwood, 2509 33rd St., seated second from left, celebrated his 80th birthday Thursday with a family reunion and birthday dinner in the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Reid, 2505 33rd St. Seated with him, left to right, are his brothers and a sister, Gene Atwood of Abilene; Mrs. W. E. Jones, 3306 Ave. N; and Claude Atwood of Clyde. The four generations at the celebration included Atwood; his daughter; Mrs. Reid, standing left, holding his great-grandson, Warren Odom, 2; and his granddaughter, Mrs. Vernon L. Odom, 2603 44th St., standing right, holding his only other great-grandchild, David Odom, 2 months old. (Staff Photo)

ATWOOD MARKS BIRTHDAY WITH CELEBRATION HERE – J. A. Atwood, 2509 33rd St., observed his 80th birthday Thursday with reminiscences that included stories of his father’s friend, Kit Carsen, and his own presence at Sam Bass’ death in Round Rock.  Atwood says he saw the posse go in after Bass, but didn’t see the actual killing because he ran. There was some speculation that he was celebrating his 80th birthday because he did run.  Atwood was born in Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas, the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Atwood. He came to Lubbock at 26 from Cross Plains. Now a retired farmer and a deacon of the First Baptist Church, he celebrated Thursday with a family reunion and birthday dinner in the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Reid, 2505 33rd St. Among the guests were his only grandchild, Mrs. Vernon L. Odom and her two children, Warren, 2 and David, 2 years old, of 2603 44th St. Also present were his sister Mrs. W. E. Jones, 3306 Av. N, and two brothers, Gene of ____ and Claude of Clyde. Two sisters were absent. Two other sisters, Mrs. Chess Barr of Cross Plains and Mrs. Lee Straley of Oplin were unable to attend. Mrs. ____ could not come because she was busy with another celebration – her 50th wedding anniversary. There was not a _____ among Atwood’s eight brothers and sisters until he was 77 years old. Others attending the dinner were Atwood’s wife, Mrs. Gene Atwood; Mrs. Claude Atwood; W. E. Jones; Winson Atwood, a nephew; Vernon L. Odom; and Miss Ruby Atwood, a daughter, 3511 33rd St. Atwood’s family has been outstanding in the Lubbock public schools.  Miss Ruby Atwood, a teacher at O.L. Slaton Junior High, is beginning her 30th year here this fall as a social studies teacher. Mrs. Odom, the granddaughter, is a ____ home economics teacher at J. T. Hutchinson Junior High School. Reid, the son-in-law, has taught here 33 years and is safety coordinator fo the Lubbock public schools and is a past president of the Lubbock Classroom Teacher’s Association.

Celebrating his 80th birthday.... BACK ROW: Winson B. Atwood; Claude Atwood; Eugene (Gene) Atwood; Vernon Odem with son Warren Edward Odem on his shoulders; John Atwood SECOND ROW: Walker Jones; Elizabeth (Atwood) Jones; Eunice (Arnold) Atwood; Laura (Williams) Atwood; Emma (Arnold) Atwood FRONT ROW: Norma Grace (Reid) Odem and her mother, Myrtie (Atwood) Reid

John’s wife, Laura, died 2 December 1954 in Lubbock. John died 8 November 1961, also in Lubbock. They are laid to rest together in City of Lubbock Cemetery.

John Atwood’s Funeral Rites Planned Today (November 1961):  Funeral services for John A. Atwood, 87, 2509 33rd Street, who died 2:10 p.m. Wednesday in St. Mary’s Hospital, will be at 3 p.m. today in First Baptist Chruch. Dr. J. Ralph Grant, pastor and the Rev. J. T. golding, assistant pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in the city of Lubbock Cemetery under direction of Sanders Funeral Home. Atwood, a retired farmer, had been ill since October 5. Born in William County, Atwood lived in Cross Plains before moving to Lubbock in 1926. He had been a deacon in the Baptist Church more than 57 years and had been a member of the First Baptist Church here since moving to Lubbock. The family requested that friends send contributions to the Lottie Moon Christmas Foreign Mission Offering, in care of First Baptist Church. Survivors are two daughters, Mrs. J. W. Reid, 2505 33rd Street, and Miss Ruby Atwood, 2509 33rd Street, a foster son, Sidney Ratcliffe, Gustine, California, two sisters, Mrs. W. E. Jones, 3306 Avneue N, and Mrs. Chess Barr, Cross Plains, a brother, C. E. Atwood, Abilene, a granddaughter, Mrs. Vernon Odom, 2127 55th Street, and three great grandchildren. Nephews will be pallbearers.

Final Resting Place - Lubbock City Cemetery

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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Atwood


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Ora Deborah Ham Ward – Daughter of Robert Montgomery Ham and Tabitha Clementine Kenady

Ora Deborah Ham - about 1894

Ora Deborah Ham was one of the daughters of Robert Montgomery Ham and Tabitha Clementine Kenady, and she was a first great-aunt from my husband’s Ham family line. Ora was born in Ellis County, Texas on 21 Jan 1885 – and she lived to be 100 years old!

The earliest record pertaining to Ora other than her birth is the 1900 census which was enumerated on 4 Jun 1900. There we find her living in Justice Precinct 7 of Kaufman County, Texas. She is 15 years old and attending school – she can read and write. Ora is living with her father Robert Montgomery Ham and mother “Tabbie.” In the home is her brother William Neal Ham and his new wife Julie E. (Stone). Also in the home is Ora’s older sister Maud (and 2 young daughters), who has divorced her first husband, Festus James. Also in the home are Ora’s three younger siblings: Robert, 13; Mac, 9; and Mabell, 3.

The next year, on 23 March 1901, Ora Deborah Ham, at the age of 16, married John Brady Ward in Kemp, Kaufman County, Texas. John Brady Ward was born to John H. Ward and Mary Janette Beavers on 10 Aug 1880 in Kaufman County, Texas.

Wedding Photo - John Brady Ward and Ora Deborah Ham

Ora and John had a very large family, 12 known children: Cuba Helen (1903-1989); Vivian Trudy (1905-1993); John Brady (1907-1989); Norma (1908); Ronald Byron (1911-1963); Grady Meyers (1912-2008); Edna Louise (1914); Inez Faye (1915-1979); Carmen Dee (1917-2002); Bessie “Becky” Lou (1921-2006); Edith Mabel (1923-1941); and Laura Lee (1927). 

By the 1910 census, Ora and John are renting a home and John is farming in Kaufman County, Texas. The couple has been married for about eight years and have had four children; three of them have survived: Cuba E., age 7; Vivian, age 4; and John B., age 3 (presume that Norma is the child that died). The small family is living a few doors down from John’s father, John H. Ward and step-mother, Harriet.

By February of 1920, the family has relocated to McCulloch County, Texas. There we find them again farming. Ora is indexed as being 35 years old living with her husband John, 48, who rents. The children in the home are: Cuba, age 15; Vivian, age 13; John B., age 12; Ronnie, age 9; Grady, age 7; Louise, age 6; Inez, age 4; Carmen, age 2. Also in the home is John’s cousin, Lee V. Hagerty, age 20. Living nearby is Ora’s sister Maud, who has married Andrew Rickman. Maud’s daughter, Ora’s niece, Artie also lives nearby with her husband John McKnight.

The 1930 census was enumerated on 3 May 1930, where we find that the family has once again relocated – this time to Taylor County, Texas. Ora by this time is 44 years old. She is with her husband John, age 47 who is indexed as a “house carpenter.” They are renting a home which they state is worth $12.50. The children in the home are: Ronald B., 19 and Grady M., 18 who are doing “odd jobs.” The younger children include: Louise E., age 16; Inez F., age 14; Carmen D., age 11; Bessie L., age 9; Edith M., age 5; and Laura L., age 2.

This is basically the last record I can locate on Ora (other than her death and burial). I have been told that The Dallas Morning News published an article on 29 Jan 1985 pertaining to Ora’s 100th birthday celebration. If any of you Ham/Ward researchers out there could provide me with a copy of that article, I would be very appreciative. Further, according to some of Ora’s grandchildren, Ora moved to Dallas and Brady stayed on the farm in Kemp, Texas.

Ora Deborah Ward Ham - 100th Birthday Celebration

Brady died in Dallas, Texas on 22 Mar 1970 and is laid to rest there in Lone Oak Cemetery.

John Brady Ward - Final Resting Place

As mentioned earlier, Ora lived to the ripe of age of 100 years, and died 15 Dec. 1985 in Dallas, Texas. She is laid to rest there in Grove Hill Memorial Park.

Ora Deborah Ham Ward - Final Resting Place

Inscription on her headstone reads:  “Beloved Mother – She gave so much and demanded so little.” 

What a tribute!



Posted by on May 21, 2011 in Ham, Ward


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Edwin Perry Curbow

Edwin Perry Curbow was the youngest known son of Oliver and Harriet McGuire Curbow, the grandson of Tilman and Elizabeth Box Curbow, and my husband’s 1st great grand-uncle.  Edwin was born 1 July 1884 in probably Clay County, Texas.  As with many records of this Curbow generation, there is a conflict in his date of birth.  His Texas Death Certificate states that he was born in 1885 and his burial record states that he was born in 1886.  The 1884 date is taken from his World War I Draft Registration Card, which he filled out in his own hand.  For our purposes here, I will use the 1 July 1884 date. 

Edwin Perry Curbow

Edwin married Betty Francis Howard on 22 March 1904 in Denton County, Texas.  Betty was born 11 Dec 1886 in Lebanon, Collin County, Texas.  Betty was the daughter of William Green Howard  and Sarah “Sallie” Mae Seago.  Betty was the younger sister of Ida Bell Howard (my husband’s great-grandmother).  Ida Belle married Charles Franklin Curbow. 

Edwin and Betty Howard

Prior to 1920, Edwin Perry Curbow moved his family to Frederick, Tillman County, Oklahoma.  They lived there for 21 years before returning to Texas.  Edwin and Betty settled in El Paso where they lived out the remainder of their lives.  According to the census records, Edwin farmed the land throughout his life; however his death certificate indicates that he was also a “watchman” for the American Furniture Company.  His great granddaughter, Pat Blair Chatman, tells us that the family traveled all over Texas in a covered wagon, moving from farm-to-farm picking crops.  

Edwin Perry Curbow died on Jun 1961 in El Paso, Texas.  He is laid to rest with his wife in Restlawn Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas. 
Published 13 June 1961 in The El Paso Herald Post – Mr. Edward (sic) P. Curbow, 75, 158 Coronado Road died in a local hospital.  Survivors, wife, Mrs. Betty F. Curbow, El Paso; daughters, Mrs. Lee Blair, Huntington Park, California and Mrs. F. H. Sinpe (sic – should be Slape), El Paso; Sons, Joe Curbow, Chickasha, Oklahoma and David Curbow, El Paso.  Arrangements with Hardin and Orr, Mountains Ave.

Final Resting Place - there are no headstones

Betty Francis Howard Curbow died on 26 Oct 1962 in El Paso, Texas
Published 28 October 1962 in The El Paso Times:  Mrs. Betty F. Curbow, 76 of 3120 Fillmore, died Friday at a local hospital.  Resident of El Paso 20 years.  Member of First Christian Church.  Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Hays Slape, El Paso, Mrs. Cora Blair, Huntington Park, California, Son, Joe Curbow, Chickasha, Okla; Two sisters, three brothers, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Monday in Hardin Orr & McDaniel Montana Ave. Chapel Rev. Thomas Gowan officiating.  Burial will be in Restlawn.  Arrangements by Harding-Orr & McDaniel Montana Ave.
Edwin and Betty Curbow had five children:
Joe P. (probably Perry) Curbow was born 26 Aug 1905 in Denton County, Texas.  He married Nannie Pearl Nelson.  The couple had no children that I am aware of.
Joe P. Curbow, 63, 515 Florida Avenue, died at 1:15 p.m. Friday at his home following a sudden heart attack.  He had been a heart patient for 17 years.  He was born Aug 26, 1905 in Denton, Texas.  He had been a resident of Chickasha since 1935.  He was formerly employed with the Pearl Laundrey.  He joined the Chickasha Police Department Aug. 1, 1944.  He retired March 15, 1967 after 23 years of service with the department.  Mr. Curbow was married Aug. 5, 1946 to Mrs. Pearl Nelson in Chickasha.  He was a veteran of World War II having served with the U.S. Navy.  He was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church.  Survivors include his wife, Pearl of the home; one step-daughter, Mrs. Geneva Mae Gonzales of Chickasha; two grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. Katie Slape of El Paso, Texas and Mrs. Cora Mae Blair of Huntington Park, California.  Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday in the Chapel of the Sevier Funeral Home with Dr. Charles Sullivan, pastor of the First Baptist Church officiating.  Interment will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery.
Cora Mae Curbow was born 17 Feb 1907, probably in Aubrey, Denton County, Texas.  She married Jessie Lee Blair on 2 Oct 1927 in Wichita Falls, Texas.  They had two children, Joe Lee Blair (1928-1984) and Wanda June Blair (1930-2006).  Cora died on 18 Oct. 1984 and Lee died 28 Nov 1974, both in California.  They are laid to rest together in Rose Hill Cemetery in Los Angeles County. 

Cora and Lee Blair

 Charles “Charley” Franklin Curbow was born 9 Jun 1909, probably in Aubrey, Denton County, Texas.  He was named after his uncle, Charles Franklin Curbow.  Sadly, Charley lived only 8 years.  He died of “congestive chill,” an old medical term for malaria.  He is laid to rest in Belew Cemetery in Aubrey, Denton County, Texas.

Death Notice

Jessie Daisy Curbow was known as “Katie” to her family.  She was born 21 Oct 1911, probably in Aubrey, Denton County, Texas.  On 1 May 1934 she married Finley Hays Slape in Dewey County, Oklahoma.  Katie died 26 Feb 2000 and Hays died 1 Jan 1998, both in El Paso, Texas.  They are laid to rest together in Restlawn Cemetery.   

Katie Curbow Slape (on the right) w/sister Cora

David Charles Curbow was the youngest son of Edwin and Betty Curbow, born 4 Nov 1915 in Aubrey, Denton County, Texas.  Some time around 1936 David married Maxine Lavern Courtney.  The couple had one son, David Charles Curbow, Jr. born in Oklahoma in 1936.  The marriage did not last, and the couple divorced when the baby was just three months old.  David Charles Curbow served as a Corporal in the U.S. Army during World War II, enlisting on 18 Aug 1943.  Some time after his return from the war, David married Hope Hoyle.  The couple had one son, David Hoyle Curbow.  David Charles Curbow died at the young age of 45 on 30 Jul 1961 of pneumonia in El Paso, Texas.  He is laid to rest at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso.


Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Curbow, Howard, Seago


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