WILMINGTON — Welton Curtis Sewell of Wilmington, NC, age 85, passed away on November 26, 2022 at Lower Cape Fear Life Care.
He was born in Wilmington’s segregated James Walker Memorial Hospital on November 17, 1937, the son of Oscar Leon Sewell and Vivian Hampton Sewell. An older brother by six years, Leon Hampton Sewell, and with whom he shared his birthday died in 1994.
Curtis attended both private and public schools in Wilmington, and after graduation from high school enrolled in the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, graduating with a degree in English. While at Carolina he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and the Order of the Gorgon’s Head.
After graduation from Carolina, he joined the United State Marine Corps and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in December 1959. He served as an infantry officer at various locations in the United States and the Far East. While stationed at Quantico, VA he enrolled in law school at American University in Washington, DC where he received his Juris Doctor degree.
In 1966 he married Anne Carroll Taylor Townsville, NC. While the marriage ended in divorce, he and Carroll remained friends and together tried to be the best parents possible for their son, Robert Taylor Sewell.
Curtis practiced law in Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA mostly as a litigator. He was Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney in Alexandria, VA, and later a founding member of the firm of Thomas, Kent, Haddock and Sewell. In addition to his law practice, he served as a substitute judge in the Virginia General District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He served the Court for 23 years until his retirement and return to his native Wilmington, NC. At various times Curtis would explain to his judge colleagues that while he loved the Court, he already had had the best job a person could have. That was as a Marine Rifle Company Commander in the Fleet Marine Force stationed in the Far East.
In 1992, Curtis convinced his long-time friend, Mary Carlyle Brady of Oxford, MD to marry him. Carly, a beautiful woman in every respect, embarked with him on a 23-year relationship that he was convinced represented martial bliss. They bicycled in Italy, sailed together, spent time in their favorite London, and rode motorcycles together. Simply stated they were together until Carly’s death in 2014.
A year or so after Carly’s death, through the good graces of a mutual friend, Curtis was introduced to Beverly Ingram Wilson, an amazing woman. She and Curtis became the closest of friends, and until his death she enhanced and enriched his life. He is eternally grateful for her support through some difficult times. He also is thankful for the support and attention from good friends from every phase of his life.
Curtis is survived by his son Robert Taylor Sewell of Wilmington, NC and nephews Mitchell Martin Sewell (Connie) of Asheville, NC and David Hampton Sewell (Susan) of Bluffton, SC. and their children Hampton and Laney.
In accordance with Curtis’ wishes, no public services will be held.