Curtis Haley

Obituary of Curtis Wendell Haley

Colonel Curtis Wendell Haley departed this life on his final mission while preparing to celebrate his 85th birthday with his good friend Maryann Squires of Morgantown. Curtis or “Curt” to his friends, led a long and eventful life. Curtis was pre-deceased by his wife Jeanne (Craft) Haley, his son Curtis of Sarasota, Florida, his parents Curtis E. and Lorretto Haley and two sisters, Patricia and MaryJane. Curtis leaves behind his two daughters, Jeanne Haley Jackson and her husband Colonel John J. Jackson, United States Marine Corps (Retired) of Spotsylvania, VA and Ann Boone and her husband Barry Boone of Westminster, MD, eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, his sister Lorretto and her husband Bill Murphy of Vero Beach, FL, his brother and sister-in-law Ted and Dee Craft of Fairmont, and numerous friends and relatives. Curtis enlisted in the Air Force Reserve immediately upon graduation from high school in Coral Gables, Florida, in 1948, beginning an Air Force career that spanned almost the next 40 years. Ironically, his first squadron commander was his father Lieutenant Colonel Curtis E. Haley. Then Airman Haley trained as a radio operator for B-50 bombers, as those who knew him would say, a great job for somebody who loved a good conversation, but he set his sights higher, to become an officer in the Air Force. Those plans were interrupted by the Korean War, when he was called to active duty. In 1954, he returned to the Reserves, now as a Staff Sergeant. Enrolling in the University of Miami, he resumed his quest, meeting and later marrying the love of his life, Jeanne Craft of Fairmont, WV. Upon graduation from “The U”, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force. The next thirty years saw Curtis and his family traveling all over the world and various bases in the United States: Berlin, Germany, Newfoundland, Canada, Vietnam, Thailand, Utah, Missouri, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and finally retiring from the Pentagon in Washington DC. Among his numerous awards were the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Force Commendation Medals and numerous other campaign and service medals. Retirement didn’t slow Curtis down as he became deeply involved in many projects in Fairmont where he and Jeanne retired. Among those many projects were the restorations of the High Level Bridge, and its later listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Curtis continued to demonstrate his love of country by assuming the role of “Uncle Sam” leading numerous parades around the Midwest and Atlantic seaboard, from Annapolis, MD to St Louis, MO and countless cities in between, as the iconic figure dressed in Red, White and Blue. He and his son Curtis hiked part of the Appalachian Trail together and his son went on to complete the trail and become a “Through Hiker” with the encouragement of his father. Curtis could be found running in many races around Fairmont, never winning, but always competing. Upon the passing of his beloved wife, Jeanne, Curtis moved to Morgantown, WV, where he made many new friends and enjoyed the remaining years of his life. In accordance with his wishes, there will not be any local services. Curtis will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, alongside Jeanne, at a future date. Arrangements have been entrusted to Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia St., Fairmont, WV 26554. Online condolences may be made to the family at “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…and while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and ​ touched the face of God”… John G. Magee, Jr​.