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Curtis Gaston McNair was born May 22, 1932 in Laurinburg, North Carolina to Walter Gaston and Lila Lindsey McNair.  His mother was a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Curtis, his older brother and mother left the South for Detroit, Michigan after his father died.  Deacon Curtis McNair transitioned from earthly life to eternal life in the arms of his beloved “Donna” on July 5, 2017.

Curtis attended Northern High School in Michigan.  After graduation, Curtis joined the Army and served two years abroad.  His tour of duty included Germany, France and Italy.  While overseas he toured with the Red Diamond Chorus and performed with a group called the Gospel Aires.  He managed along the way to visit major art museums such as Louvre, Notre Dames, and many European historical sites.  He left the military with a rank of Corporal, Special Services.

After returning to the United States Curtis pursued a career in art.  His education includes a Diploma in Graphic Arts, College of Art and Design; and he attended the prestigious Center for Creative Studies, College of Art and Design, Detroit, Michigan.  There he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

His career experiences are extensive:  He was one of the first African American to work as a Graphic Designer for Chrysler Corporation.  He was a Fashion Illustrator for Federals Department Store, a Graphic Designer for Fred Yaffe Advertising Agency and Art Director for the City of Detroit.  He is known by many to be the former Art Director for Motown Records in Detroit, Michigan where he either designed or oversaw the designing of more than a hundred album covers for the Motown Industry.  One of his most famous album covers was “What’s Going On?” featuring Marvin Gaye.

His teaching experiences were with the Wayne County Community College, Detroit, Michigan where he designed a course, Photographic Design and Reproduction; and Center for Creative Studies, College of Art and Design where he taught Key Lining emphasizing techniques/procedures in camera ready art; layout and typography; and Pontiac Art Center, Pontiac, Michigan, teaching art education in the elementary schools.

Curtis also operated his own printing company called Gott Graphics and opened his own private Art School for Children where many up and coming and well-known artists in the areas came to share their skills and expertise with the students.

He rounded out his career in Detroit serving the public as the Supervisor of the City of the Detroit Print Shop.  Years later, he returned to North Carolina and settled in Rockingham, only minutes from his native home of Laurinburg.  He acquired an Art Teaching Certification from Saint Andrews Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, North Carolina.  He worked for seven years as an Art Teacher (K-12) with the Richmond County School System.

His memberships included Alumnus, Center for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan; Artist Alliance of Richmond County, Rockingham, North Carolina, and the HIP (Helping Improve Potential) for young African American Men (Rockingham), NAACP, and Richmond County Retired School Personnel.

Curtis was saved as at an early age and always considered himself a Child of God.  Curtis was a faithful member of First Baptist Church, Wadesboro which is where he met a beautiful Minister that was the guest speaker for a Women’s Day Program in 2003.  After a lovely courtship, he married the love of his life, Donna Ingram McNair, on May 7, 2005.  Together they loved to travel with the Anson County Christian Fellowship Club during the Christmas Holidays.  They enjoyed monthly gatherings at the homes of friends throughout the year.  Vising family played a key role in their lives as well. 

Curtis’ ministry was that of a Deacon.  He served as Deacon at First Baptist Church, Wadesboro, NC and at New Piney Grove Ministries Church in Wadesboro and lastly at Fairview Church of God in the Burnsville Community.  The delight of his life was serving alongside his wife as Associate Pastor at New Piney Grove Ministries and as Pastor at Fairview.  Deacon Curtis initiated the Men’s Upper Room Prayer at Fairview where they meet every second Sunday.

Curtis’ favorite pastime was communing with nature and his walks in the wood.  Curtis saw beauty in every aspect of nature. But most of all Curtis enjoyed his wife’s friendship and the alone time they shared sitting on the front porch and back deck.

Curtis maybe known for marching for civil rights in the 1940s, helping to integrate the Army in the 1950s, being among the first blacks hired at Chrysler’s corporate office in the early 1960, being the Art Director for Motown in the late 1960s to early 1970s, but he would want most to be known as a humble servant of God – a man of prayer and praise.

Fond memories will forever be cherished by his wife, Donna Ingram McNair; his brother, Willie Beauford McNair, Arapahoe, NC; five brothers-in-law, Lacy (Mildred) Ingram, Woodbridge, VA, James (Lucille) Ledbetter, High Point, NC, Riston (Audrey) Ingram, Richmond, VA, Aaron (Brenda) Bennett, Odenton, MD, J. C. Smith, Greensboro, NC; three sisters-in-law, Omy Ingram Barber, Wadesboro, NC, Zura (Henry) Thomas, Polkton, NC, Brenda (Rodney) Nivens, Kernersville, NC; his niece, Darletta McNair, Arapahoe, NC; The Fairview Church of God family, especially the Men’s Ministry; and a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

The Homegoing Services will be on Sunday, July 9, 2017, 2:00pm, Smith's Memorial Chapel, 604 Salisbury Street, Wadesboro, North Carolina.  Burial will follow in Westview Memorial Park, Highway 74-West, Wadesboro, North Carolina.

Dr. McNair and the McNair family will greet family and friends and the residence and on Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 1:30-2:00pm at Smith's Memorial Chapel.

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  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Smith's FH
  • Thursday, July 6, 2017
    Donna, our love and prayers surround you.
    ~ Hank & Anita McGill   Raleigh, NC
  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017
    Love & Prayers
    ~ Mark & Janet
  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017
    Donna, My prayers are with you.
    ~ Steve Bailey   Wadesboro, NC
  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017
    A Beautiful Memory, dearer than Gold Of a Uncle whose worth can never be told. There's a place in my ❤️Heart No one can fill I miss you Uncle Curtis and always will. Love your Niece and Family~
    ~ Darletta McNair   Arapahoe, NC
  • Friday, July 7, 2017
    I'm sorry to hear that you are grieving the loss of a dear loved one. May you find comfort in the words of: "Nahum 1:7  which reads: "Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of distress. He is mindful of those seeking refuge in him." Yes, our Loving God gives us comfort if we allow him. He also has made the sure promise of a resurrection right here on earth when it is restored to a beautiful paradise (Acts 24:15; Psalms,37:9-11,29). This is not just a mere dream, but is a certainty because Issues 55:11 tells us that everything God says he accomplishes without fail (Isaiah 55:11). What Joy it will be to welcome back to life our loved ones! Find out more about this resurrection online at JW.ORG
    ~ Rose L
  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Donna: We are so sorry to hear of your loss. You will be in our prayers.
    ~ Gloria Tillmon-Murphy   High Point, NC
  • Thursday, July 6, 2017
    Donna, I am sorry to hear of the passing of your husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. Levones Taylor Chisholm
  • Saturday, July 8, 2017
    Dr. Ingram, We are very sorry about the loss of your husband. We are praying for comfort for you and your family.
    ~ Delane and Linda Rorie   Greenville, SC
  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Peace be with you!
    ~ Rosa Mae Little   Mt. Gilead, NC
  • Thursday, July 6, 2017
    We will hold you in our thoughts and prayers. With deepest sympathy, Joanne and Bill Huntley
    ~ Joanne and Bill Huntley   Wadesboro, NC
  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017
    Donna and Family; we are sadden to hear about your recent losses. May your loved ones rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon them; we await that great day when we are all reunited again; until them we stand on the promises of God. Amen. Alleluia!!!!! Prince and Nancy Jernigan WSSU '73
    ~ Prince and Nancy Patterson Jernigan   Severna Park, MD
  • Saturday, July 8, 2017
    My deepest sympathy to the Pratt and extended family in the loss of your loved one.
    ~ Vivian Kellock   Wadesboro, NC
  • Thursday, July 6, 2017
    Dr. Donna I.McNair, May the Lord Bless you and your Family in this time of the loss of your Loved One. God saw the beautiful Flower in his Garden, so He decided this was the one He wanted to bring it home to His Kingdom. Love and Prayers, Kennie R.Buchanon,Sr.
    ~ kennie R. Buchanon   Fayetteville, NC
  • Thursday, July 20, 2017
    We can look forward to the day when there will be no more sickness and death. Revelation 21:4 says: "and he (God) will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away". Please accept my sincere condolences. Always remember God loves you and he cares for you! (Isaiah 33:24; 1 Corinthians 15:26)
    ~ Rachel Morton
  • Sunday, July 9, 2017
    Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you during this time. Peace and continued Blessings to you and your entire family. All of us at Quality Florist
    ~ Bonnie Marsh   Wadesboro, NC
  • Sunday, July 9, 2017
    Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you during this time. Peace and continued Blessings to you and your entire family. All of us at Quality Florist
    ~ Bonnie Marsh   Wadesboro, NC
  • Sunday, July 9, 2017
    Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you during this time. Peace and continued Blessings to you and your entire family. All of us at Quality Florist
    ~ Bonnie Marsh   Wadesboro, NC