Mr. Curdts, 92, died Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017
William Theodore Curdts III, a resident of the Hermitage at Cedarfield in Richmond, Virginia, departed this life on Jan. 3, 2017. His body could no longer keep pace with his mind. Born April 4, 1924, in Craddock, Virginia, he was the only child of William T. Curdts Jr. and Elizabeth Palmer.
After completing two years at Virginia Military Institute (Class of 1945), he interrupted his studies to serve as a P-47 pilot in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War. When the war ended, he was in California waiting to ship out and never saw combat. After the war he earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University.
Settling in Richmond, he worked as an aeronautical engineer for Texaco Experiment Incorporated and was later president of Flight Research Incorporated. In 1967, he moved with his family to Windermere to pursue business and investment opportunities and lived there until 2013, when he returned to Richmond.
He was a trustee of the University of the South (Sewanee) and was a founding member of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension near Windermere, where he served on the vestry. He was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and a founding member of the Windermere Rotary Club, where he served as president, treasurer and in various other leadership roles.
He also served on the board of directors of the West Orange County chapter of Habitat for Humanity and with his friend Bill Criswell co-founded Home at Last, a charitable organization providing disability-friendly, mortgage-free homes to disabled combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Mildred “Tatty” Fleming Curdts, and by his daughter, Courtney Curdts Stratton.
He is survived by his sister-in-law, Mary Pease Fleming; three sons, William Rives Curdts and his wife, Blair, Heath Palmer Curdts and his wife, Nancy, and Lewis Thomas Curdts and his wife, Ivy Sigel; by his son-in-law William A. Stratton; and by nine granddaughters; two great-grandsons; and a host of friends and admirers.
He leaves behind a legacy of honor, integrity, service and good humor, of which we are all beneficiaries.
He was buried on Saturday, Jan. 7, with his beloved Tatty at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Memorial contributions may be made to the VMI Foundation, 304 Letcher Ave., Lexington, VA 24450; to Home at Last Project Inc., P.O. Box 38, Oakland, FL 34760; or to a charity of your choice.