Born in Narrows on June 9, 1934, Curtis was the son of Gertrude Fisher Anderson, a registered nurse at New Altamont Hospital in Christiansburg. After graduating from Christiansburg High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served his country during the Korean War. A Petty Officer with the VA-15 Squadron, his tour included the 1954-55 round-the-world cruise on the USS Midway. While stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., Curtis met and married the love of his life, Patricia Ruth McClellan.
After moving his budding family back to Virginia, Curtis graduated from VPI in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in building construction. He had a successful career as an owner of Graves Construction Company in Blacksburg. Some notable local projects during his tenure at Graves included the Montgomery County Courthouse and the Virginia Tech Fieldhouse. His entrepreneurial spirit eventually led him to open Roanoke Vacuum and Sewing Center, which he successfully operated for 27 years, finally retiring in 2013.
Curtis was an avid Virginia Tech Hokie fan, attending countless football and bowl games. He was always up for a round of golf, enjoyed playing bridge, and completed numerous household improvement projects. More than anything, Curtis loved spending time with his family and friends, including several beloved dogs over the years.
Curtis is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Ruth, and five children: Janis Buchanan of Washington, D.C.; Karen Layman of Cincinnati; Brenda Foster (Jay) of Roanoke; Patty Hurst (Andrew) of Kildeer, Ill.; and James Curtis Anderson, Jr. (Natalie) of Fredericksburg, Va. Also surviving are grandchildren Alexandra Foster, James Curtis Anderson III (Wendy), Brittany Foster, and Victoria Buchanan, as well as a great-granddaughter, Amelia Ruth Anderson.
A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, at Horne Funeral Home in Christiansburg.