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Thomas C. Curtis, farmer

Thomas C. Curtis, a former partner in a Kensington service station and a Howard County cattleman, died Sunday from cancer at his Clarksville farm. He was 86.

The son of a farmer and a homemaker, Thomas Clayton Curtis was born at home in Kensington, where he was raised.

After graduating from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1945, he enlisted in the Navy and served for a year at the Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Cecil County.

After leaving the Navy in 1946, he worked in accounting for the Washington Gas Light Co., before joining his brother in the early 1950s as co-owner of Kensington Texaco on Metropolitan Avenue.

In addition to handling the service station's business matters, he did do some repair and servicing work, family members said. The station was sold and Mr. Curtis retired in the early 1990s.

For nearly 60 years, Mr. Curtis lived at Tempo Lake, his onetime 112-acre farm in Clarksville, now 30 acres, where he raised purebred Aberdeen Angus cattle.

He was a member of the American Angus Association, which gave him the organization's Historic Angus Herd certification. He was also a past president of the Maryland Angus Association and a member of the Howard County Farm Bureau.

Mr. Curtis enjoyed working outdoors, playing bridge and traveling. He was also an active member of the Howard County Lions Club and the 5th District Discussion group.

His wife of 47 years, the former Betty Kelley, died in 2009.

A funeral service for Mr. Curtis will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in the chapel at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church, 12500 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville.

Mr. Curtis is survived by two sons, David A. Curtis of Westminster and Dale E. Curtis of Grantsville; nine grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

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