THOMASTON - John G. Curtis Jr., 88, passed peacefully, Sunday, April 8, 2018 at Maine Medical Center in Portland. John was born September 1, 1929, in Auburn and grew up in Bridgton, where he graduated from Bridgton Academy, Class of 1948 and the University of Maine, Orono Class of 1952. After graduation from UMO he joined the U.S. Navy where he received his training as a carrier pilot. John served as a fighter pilot aboard the USS Saratoga, the USS Oriskany and the USS Bon Homme Richard. Shore duty included a stint at the Naval Academy as a math instructor and a tour at the Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA.
Upon his retirement from the U.S. Navy he moved to California to be near his two beloved daughters. While in California he was a flight instructor for private pilots of small planes. His favorite and first love was instruction in an open cockpit biplane teaching loops, spins, and barrel rolls. He later worked as a private pilot for different corporations.
John met his wife Fran at a square dance in 1981, they fell in love and upon Fran’s agreeing to move home to Maine with him, they were married June of 1983. It took ten years to tie up obligations in California and then it was home to Maine.
John was a Vietnam Vet, a member of VFW 3095, served on the Thomaston Waste Water planning committee, and the Knox County Airport Advisory Board. Many will remember John for his work at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum, where he served in several volunteer capacities. He loved the Tuesday and Thursday restoration work, helping repair and servicing the airplanes and old cars. You could find him early mornings on the exhibitor gate and afternoons as a driver of the Model T or working the flight line helping people in and out of their airplane rides. He was your guide at the museum and on call at all times. His home hobby was British cars. He spent many an hour working on and “playing” with his TR-3, Jag and Austin Healey.
John was predeceased by his parents John and Marian Curtis, his sister Catharine Cole, his nephew Barry Cole and his stepson Charles Jaget Jr. He is survived by his wife Fran of Thomaston; daughters Heather and Holly Curtis of Alameda, CA; his step-son Darryl Jaget and family of Uniondale, PA; a step-daughter Susan Jaget of Los Angeles, CA; three granddaughters, three great-grandsons, several cousins, two nieces and a nephew.
A Celebration of John’s Life will be held at 1:00pm, Friday, April 13, 2018 at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. The Rev. Wayne Sawyer will officiate. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make memorial donations to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841.