Reflection of Life
Mr. Curtis Lee Pierce was born in Marion, South Carolina to Thelma Pierce Johnson and Joseph Graves on February 11, 1950. As the third of 13 children, Curtis was fully surrounded by family throughout his life. He lived a life rich with love, family and a purpose-driven commitment to serve others.
During childhood, his family relocated to Florida and settled in Lake Harbor where he attended school. It was here where Curtis laid the foundation for his career in service, being elected class president of his Lake Shore High School Class of 1968. It was also here where Curtis met a young Sharon Butts, but ever the comedian, he took every opportunity to poke fun at the woman who would one day become his wife – clearly, those teenaged jokes were his love language! Although they never dated initially, they formed a friendship that would serve as the foundation of their eventual marriage.
Curtis would find joy in staying engaged with his Lake Shore High School class, and continued planning class reunions even through the pandemic. He had such pride in his school community, and worked to get the Florida historical marker approved for the location where the school once stood. He was also the founding member of Lake Shore High School Legacy Park Memorial, LLC in Belle Glade, Florida to celebrate and recognize Black educational excellence achieved at his school.
As much as he loved his community, he had bigger dreams to make his mark in the world and to pursue his love of traveling and driving. So right after graduation, Curtis left the Glades for Bethune-Cookman College where he attended for a year. He would go on to work various jobs, and on June 25, 1972 he married Sharon Butts – yes, the same enchanting young woman who was once the subject of his many jokes! They purchased their first home in Miami and he graduated from Florida Memorial College in 1977.
Then, Uncle Sam came a-calling. Hearing word that he might get drafted, Curtis joined the United States Army where he would go on to serve for 28 years as a Human Resources NCO and Recruiter in the U.S. Army Reserve. After retirement from military service, joined the Troops-to-Teachers program and continued to help shape young lives as a teacher in the Clayton County Public Schools System for 19 years. During his second career, he coached track and established a mentoring program, Gentlemen of Jonesboro Middle School, designed to positively impact the lives of young men in the school.
Being the overachiever that he was, he earned his Master’s in Education from Walden University in 2005, and in 2007 received his Educational Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University. While these accolades would benefit his professional development, Curtis also wanted to set an example for his grandchildren by always pushing himself to improve.
It would be these moments that ultimately formed the blueprint of his life – a life lived for and in service to others. Even in his personal commitment to his sobriety, Curtis provided compassionate counsel through alcohol recovery programs as a leader in the Metro Atlanta community for 28 years. He worked in partnership with those in crisis, providing encouragement and guidance as they rebuilt their lives.
This compassion for others truly spilled over into every area of his life, even in his desire to provide homes for others. As a rental property owner, he lived out his passion and love for engineering – creating and building new things, and figuring out how to make a way out of no way for himself and others. He did all of this joyfully – always being full of laughter and adventure.
It was through truly living his life fully – coordinating social events, celebrating positive change, never missing an opportunity to take steps toward a brighter day – that we’ll remember Curtis Lee Pierce.
Beyond his service to others, Curtis’ true legacy is his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Sharon Butts Pierce. From their union, his children Curtis Pierce II (Moe Loughran) and Cursha Pierce-Lunderman (Victor Lunderman III). Also their five grandchildren: Aleyna Loughran-Pierce, Sydnee Lunderman, Victor Isaiah Lunderman, Ayden Loughran-Pierce, and Micah Lunderman. Curtis is also survived by his son Dametrius Pierce (Victoria Pierce), grandchildren Octaveon Rabon, Imani Pierce and Dametria Pierce. Curtis’ loving siblings: Mattie (Sturlie) Williams, Beverly Williams, Bro. Charles Page, Carlile Page, Ervin Page, James (Judy) Williams, Timothy Williams, Hezzie Williams, Kenneth Williams. Also survived by his sisters in law: Gloria Anthony, Mary (Chauncey) Taylor, and Charlotte (Shack) Leonard. Curtis leaves behind a multitude of nieces, nephews, and cousins that supported him and he loved dearly. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, John & Mattie Pierce, mother Thelma Pierce Johnson, father Joseph Graves along with siblings: Damon (Annie) Johnson, Terry Page and Jean Baron.
Curtis Lee Pierce will be laid to rest with full military honors on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 2:30 PM, Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, 5525 U.S. Highway 1, North, Mims, Florida 32754.