American Veteran 04

Curtis Winfred Wise

September 12, 1919 ~ October 14, 2019 (age 100)


Curtis Winfred Wise, 100, of Kannapolis died Monday October 14th, 2019, at Carteret Health Care in Morehead City, NC.

He was born September 12, 1919 in Kannapolis. He is the son of the late William C. Wise, Sr. and Mary Owen Wise.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Ethel Irene Howell Wise; a son, Paul Howell Wise and a granddaughter Paula Jean Wise; brothers William C. Wise, Jr. and Golden B. Wise.

He is survived by three children, Philip Wise and wife Lynda of Kannapolis, Anne Watts and husband Charles of Emerald Isle, Mark Wise and wife Darlene of Raleigh; daughter-in-law Barbara Wise of Kannapolis; brother Jay V. Wise of Winston-Salem; seven grandchildren, Jason Wise and wife Brittany, Chris Wise and wife Lori, Elizabeth Wise, Ben Watts and wife Caroline, Alan Watts and partner Christen, Paul Wise and Anne Wise; four great-grandchildren, Jayleigh Wise, Jackson Wise, Owynn Wise, Landon Wise.

Winfred grew up in Kannapolis where he attended J.W. Cannon High School. He was employed by Cannon Mills before and after WWII in which he won three Bronze Stars for heroic performance during his service in the Pacific Theatre. He spent most of his career after the war serving as the Maintenance Superintendent of the Kannapolis City Schools, where he was truly loved by teachers, parents, and students.

He was a lifelong member of Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church, where he served as a Scout Leader, Church Council member, and Sunday School teacher for many years. Winfred was an outstanding craftsman and touched many lives in Kannapolis with his woodwork.  A wooden cross he built still hangs in the Church Sanctuary, and two scale models he built of the original Kimball Church remain on display alongside his handmade communion trays.

In June of 2017, Winfred returned to the Island of Peleliu where he had fought over 70 years prior, becoming the oldest WWII veteran to do so.

Winfred was a loving Father and Father-in-Law, Grandfather, and Great-Grandfather.  He will be remembered as living his life as it should be done and as an example to all.

Visitation and Services:  The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Whitley’s Funeral Home, 1748 Dale Earnhardt Blvd., Kannapolis, NC 28083 on Friday, October 18th.  Winfred will lie in State beginning at 2:00 p.m. and funeral services will follow at 3 p.m. Saturday, October 19th at Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church officiated by Pastor John Futterer and Elizabeth Fisher, Minister of Word and Service.  Burial will follow at Carolina Memorial Park where he will be laid beside his beloved Ethel. 

Memorials may be made to Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church, 101 Vance Street, Kannapolis, NC 28081.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Curtis Winfred Wise, please visit our floral store.


October 18, 2019

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Whitleys Funeral Home
1748 Dale Earnhardt Blvd.
Kannapolis, NC 28083

Funeral Service
October 19, 2019

3:00 PM
Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church
101 Vance Avenue


Carolina Memorial Park
601 Mt. Olivet Road
Kannapolis, NC 28083

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