Eugene Elwin "Gene" Curtiss was born in Wisconsin on May 31, 1926, the son of Ann Buswell and Eugene Elwin Curtiss, Sr., manager (in 1930) of two power plants in Ada near Grand Rapids, Michigan. The family moved to New Ashville, North Carolina, in 1940, where the elder Eugene became superintendent of the Tennessee River Valley dam at Huwassee. By 1946 they had settled in Gilbertsville, Kentucky where the elder Eugene (who died in 1969) managed the TVA dam and power plant there.
Gene enlisted in the Army in 1945, and served in World War II at the rank of tech corporal (TEC-5). After his discharge the Curtiss family later moved one more time, to Benton, Kentucky, where they remained. Gene married Lanora Ann Tyree and together they had one son, Seth Tyree Curtiss (born 1969). They were divorced shortly thereafter, and Lanora remarried in 1976. Gene attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville and graduated with a degree in Geology.
Gene lived at 911 Pine Street in Benton. He advertised minerals for sale in Desert Magazine in 1957 and 1959. He was mainly into wholesale mineral dealing, but had a shop behind his house and did sell some specimens retail. In 1990 he opened a shop called Doc Rock, Inc., located at 2935 Wadesboro Road in Benton. Gene had contacts up in the Rosiclare, Illinois area and handled many fluorite specimens from those mines. He also had some kind of business arrangement with a fellow from the Los Angeles area named Ned Hutter. Gene and Ned made many trips into Mexico and brought out many Mexican minerals. Gene moved to North Carolina briefly in the early 1960s but soon returned to Benton.
Gene Curtiss died at the age of 85, at the Lakeway Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in Benton, on March 12, 2012. He was survived by his son, Seth Tyree Curtiss of Benton, Kentucky; three grandchildren, Steven Chance Curtiss, Anna Marie Curtiss and Collin Ty Curtiss of Benton, and one sister, Barbara Tully, of Lawrence, Kansas.
Robert Werner, personal communication, 2014.
US Federal Census 1930, 1940.
U.S. World War II Enlistment Records.
U.S. Public Records Index.
Kentucky Find a Grave Index.
[Obituary] Marshall County Tribune-Courier, April 17, 2012.
Kentucky Birth Index.
Kentucky Marriage Index.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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