Curtis Smith was born January 25, 1930 in Eudora Arkansas. He was the youngest of six children born to Winnie and Odie Smith, who both preceded him in death. He attended First Baptist Elementary School and was the first to graduate from an elementary school in his family. He graduated from Eudora Colored High School in 1950 and again was the first of his family to graduate from high school. After graduation, he was drafted into the Korean War. Prior to his induction in the United States Army, he married Susie Smith and through this Union, they gave birth to his oldest child Curtistine Smith. He moved to Chicago in the early 50’s and immediately began his first job at Hines Veteran Hospital, in Maywood, Illinois. Simultaneously, he acquired another job at International Harvester, where he remained until he retired in 1983. He also met Lee Ester Horton and through this union gave birth to a son Curtis Smith, who preceded him in death, while serving in Vietnam.
He met Clearetta Smith in 1952 and later married her on December 19, 1953. In 1957, they converted to Al-Islam and became Muslims. From this union came seven children, one who preceded him in death Odetta Renee Smith. In the late 50’s, Curtis and Clearetta began to run their own business, first as peddlers, which grew into opening businesses throughout the West and South side of Chicago, where they became lovingly known as Mr. & Mrs. Toys. They remained in business for over 40 years. In 1998, Curtis and Clearetta retired and moved to Hartsville, South Carolina, where he remained. Curtis and Clearetta was married for 59 years at the time of Clearetta’s passing in 2013.
He leaves to mourn his passing: daughters Curtistine Smith-Sims, Mona Lisa Muhammad, son Curtis Q. Fardon II, daughter Nefertiti Smith, son Toussaint (Angela Smith), daughters Veronica Smith and Carlita (Dmitri) Joe and his child in love Richard A. Coleman. Two sister-in-laws Arifah Sabari and Martha Bradford of South Carolina; 20 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and lifelong friends.
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