He was born in Indianapolis on May 28, 1943 in Indianapolis to John A.D. Curtis Sr. and Marjorie D. Woodworth Curtis. He attended Culver Military Academy and Lincoln Technical Institute in Indianapolis, where he developed his skills in mechanics.
Mr. Curtis was an independent over the road trucker for more than 30 years, mostly working out of Granger under the name of John Curtis Trucking. He had a love for speed and became an avid drag car driver, racing the quarter mile on tracks all across the country. He raced funny cars, motorcycles, jet cars and even an semi once. He won first in his class during the Labor Day Nationals in Clairmont many years ago.
As he grew older, he spent his time with his grandchildren and attended classic car shows. He was a member of the 1965-1966 Classic Car Club.
Survivors include his wife Shirley A. Takace Curtis; two daughters, Stephanie Payne and husband Anthony of Mishawaka and Shannon Avara of Mishawaka; son James Avara of South Bend; three sisters, Pamela Whipple and husband George of Hamilton, Ohio, Sue Ann Haberle and husband Robert of Greencastle and Jean Cummins and husband Floyd of Coatesville; and three grandchildren.
His parents preceded him in death.
Billings Funeral Home in Elkhart is handling the cremation and arrangements. Services and burial at Stilesville Cemetery will be at a later date.
Memorials may be sent to the John A.D. Curtis Jr. Memorial Fund, c/o Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin St., Elkhart, IN 46514. Online condolences may be sent to www.billingsfuneralhome.com