James “Jim” “Sonny” Edward Curton

Thursday, November 29, 2018

James “Jim” “Sonny” Edward Curton, August 24, 1942 – October 8, 2018

One of the happiest guys you’d meet - always smiling. One of the best and purest hearts you’d ever find. James Edward Curton, affectionately known as Jim or Sonny, gave the best hugs. He didn’t pass up the chance to hug everyone. “I’m gonna hug your neck when I see you” or “You owe me a hug,” he’d say. You could find Jim skipping with his daughter, Jennifer, arm in arm, in the grocery store parking lot. This was when Jennifer was young, when he called her Moose, Miss Hollywood, Sweet Pea. Jim lived to serve, to love, and to share Jesus. This love spread to how he loved his family, his friends. This love found its way into fishing and growing vegetables - into home-cooked food, black-eyed peas, and good cornbread. He never turned down a deviled egg with a sprinkling of pepper sauce on top. “Eat something good for me,” he’d say when he’d hear a friend was eating out at one of his favorite places. He loved to collect recipes. It doesn’t matter if he ever made any of the dishes. It may not be an exaggeration to say Jim had a tool addiction. But that didn’t seem to matter coupled with his sense of humor. With his lightness and laughter. Jim and his wife, Judy, once made a sawhorse, only to realize it slanted rather than stand level. After that, if something didn’t work out, he would say, “Guess that’s another sawhorse!” And the laughter would come, the kind of laughter that reminded you what was important in life. Jim was sentimental in the sweetest sense. He kept things from Jennifer’s childhood. He loved kids, and kids loved him. “You’re just a dandy, aren’t you,” he’d say. And to Jennifer, “You’re a King’s Kid.” Sometimes, you could catch Jim singing, “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord hath made, that the Lord hath made.” Jim died within a year of his oldest sister’s passing. They both loved Jesus, family, and fast cars. “I drove from California to Arkansas in that red GTO and never turned the engine off,” he’d proudly recall. Maybe Jim could be likened to the late, great Will Rogers, who never met a person he couldn’t get along with. Jim had friends of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities. Everyone was a friend to Jim. In over 30 years in the insurance business, his clients felt like family. He cared about them. “Let me tell you one more thing” meant 20 more minutes of Jim’s stories and laughter. His zeal. He prayed for all of them – for his friends, family, clients. He was available to help a friend, day or night. Jim knew the power of God. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Daniel Edward Curton and Verna Chamberlain Curton, his brother, Thomas Curton, and sister, Juanita Dickson. He is survived by his sister, Louise Hudspeth, his wife, Judith Ann Smith, his daughter, Jennifer Kathleen Fornaro and a loving extended family.