John Curtis ‘Curt’ Thomson, 103, served in the Marine Corps during World War II

John Curtis ‘Curt’ Thomson

WILMINGTON — John Curtis ‘Curt’ Thomson, 103, peacefully passed at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Center after a long and faithful life as a U.S. Marine, husband and father.

The eldest son of J.C. and Matibel Thomson of Decatur, Georgia, Curt received a degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1939.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942, attended OCS at Quantico and received special training at MIT’s Radar School before being assigned as a first lieutenant with the newly-formed 542nd Night Fighter Squadron at Cherry Point. The 542nd served in the World War II Pacific Theater at Guam, Ulithi, Peleliu and Okinawa and in occupation duty in Yokusaka, Japan. Curt returned in December 1945 to marry his sweetheart, Emma Harris Whitaker, in Enfield on Dec. 28.

Retiring from active duty in January of 1946, Curt was commissioned a captain in the U.S. Marine Reserve, promoted major in 1951 and served until 1963. He and Emma settled in Raleigh, where he was employed at the North Carolina Fire Insurance Rating Bureau for the next two and a half decades. He also served a term as secretary of the National Fire Prevention Association.

Curt and Emma had three children, John Curtis, III (1948 to 1952), William W. and Emma Christine. They were faithful attenders of Highland Methodist Church in Raleigh. Curt enjoyed hunting and fishing and was active in the Breakfast Optimist Club. They retired to Topsail Beach in 1979.

Curt’s family and the U.S. Marine Corps were the two most significant parts of his life, and he exemplified the motto of the Corps: Semper Fidelis- Always Faithful. He and Emma were partners in life for 73 years until her passing in 2018.

He is survived by his daughter, Christine of Topsail Beach; son, William of Iowa City, Iowa; and grandson, Thomas Willoughby (Liz Cook Willoughby) of Kansas City, Missouri.

Memorial services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation or the North Carolina Wildlife Federation.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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