Shirley Anne Case Curtis, 80, Norfolk, Virginia, departed this life November 17th, 2018. Born June 23, 1938, in Norfolk, Virginia, to the late Goldie Snowden, North Carolina/Virginia; and Charles Davenport, Norfolk, Virginia. She attended the public schools of Norfolk, Virginia, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School. Shirley was a faithful, 65-year member of Bethel Baptist Church, 1234 Reservoir Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia, where she served on numerous church committees and boards, including the Women’s Auxiliary Board, Number One Usher Board and Women’s Day. She remained active until recent debilitating health issues prevented her attendance; however, she always kept faith in the power of prayer and the Holy word. In 2000, after 29 years of dedicated service to the City of Norfolk, and countless employee honors and service awards, Shirley retired from Norfolk Public Schools as Head Custodian.
As a young child, Shirley’s Aunt Lenora Case introduced her to Bethel Baptist Church. Soon these Bethel religious experiences and interactions with the youth of the Church had an important and profound heavenly impact upon Shirley’s spiritual being. She became a devout Christian and developed into an actively engaged youth leadership member for Bethel’s Youth Programs; however, Shirley’s principal passion was for singing in the Junior Choir and providing church service through the Junior Ushers. As Shirley and other young women reached young adulthood, they founded Bethel’s Young Women’s Auxiliary, which filled the void for young adult women who had outgrown the church’s youth programs but were too young for senior fellowship service. The Young Women’s Auxiliary sponsored dinners, raised donations, conducted youth programs, organized partnership program for senior citizen communities, ushered on fifth Sundays and served wherever needed. After several years of church service, the “Youth” was ceremoniously liberated from the title and the Women’s Auxiliary continued providing service to the church and community.
In addition to her Christian and community work for Bethel Baptist Church, Shirley met, volunteered and worked with, fell in love and married her childhood sweetheart, Robert “Bobby” Curtis, son of Pastor Charles and First Lady Grace Faulcon. From youth to senior citizens, the loving couple served on numerous Bethel Baptist Church committees and boards, sometimes as friendly competitors. Their biggest competition and bragging rights commenced during the annual Women’s Day and Men’s Day spiritual and fundraising celebrations. Both Shirley and Bobby enjoyed raising funds to support Bethel’s spiritual mission for the church and community. Here, now and forever more, Shirley and Bobby are infinitely united in heaven sharing their love and Christian companionship.
Shirley was predeceased by her husband, Robert Curtis, Sr.; son, Andrew Kendell “Ice” Curtis; sister- and brother-in-law, Annie Curtis Carrington and Malcolm Carrington; brothers, Williams Davenport and Preston Davenport; and daughter-in-law, Helena Curtis. She leaves to cherish her memory and legacy: son, Robert Curtis, Jr., Atlanta, Georgia; daughter and son-in-law, Belinda Curtis Outlaw and Charles Timmy Outlaw, Chesapeake, Virginia; daughter and fiancé, Priscilla Curtis and James Bland, Norfolk, Virginia; sisters, Lucille Johnson, Norfolk, Virginia, and Marion Munden, Washington, DC; brother, James “Hoggy” Davenport, Norfolk, Virginia; seven grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.