BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
“I am a child of God,” said Fletcher Curry during an interview before his 106th birthday on Dec. 4 2022.
And indeed his faith has seen him through hard times by providing strength, strong mind, goodness of heart and soul and an infectious laugh.
Fletcher was born on Dec. 4, 1916, in River Falls near Andalusia to Ed and Roxanna Curry. He had eight siblings, five sisters and three brothers, all of which have since passed away.
A few years after his birth, the family moved to the Industry Community in Butler County and lived on P.C. Wood’s land for 20 years. The acreage was originally known as the Whittle place.
The family farmed corn and cotton and in later years, peanuts.
He recounted of his early years that his father put him to work at the age of 14 and he was paid with cans of backbone and spareribs. (In those days, meat was typically preserved in syrup cans.)
He also stated that his father started taking him to church at early age and they attended the Christian Life Church in Industry.
At the age of 16, his father died and he became the man of house, so to speak, and helped care for his siblings. His sisters, when they became old enough, would help him hoe the crops.
At the age of 20, he married Ellen Crenshaw and together they had four daughters, Annie Lois, Mary Ellen, Betty Jean, and Juanita.
He and Ellen were married for 58 years before she passed in 1996.
Sometime after their marriage, they moved to the Greenville area. He and Ellen would join the St. Paul Church of God and he later became a deacon.
Both he and Ellen worked at the Glenn and Mary Stanley home on Commerce Street.
She did housekeeping and cooking, while Fletcher helped with maintenance and yard care. In the afternoons, he would help with janitorial care at the Greenville Advocate.
Fletcher noted the Stanley’s were good to him. “They had confidence in me. They gave me a key to the house when they would take trips to the beach,” he said.
At the Stanley house, he learned to work with camellias and azaleas and it was a great enjoyment to him. He now has roses in front of his apartment on Glendale Avenue that he grafted.
After Mr. Stanley died, Fletcher continued working at the home, until one day he when he was raking leaves, he told Mrs. Stanley he had to go the hospital.
At Stabler’s Hospital, they operated on him for a stomach rupture due to ulcers.
He would return to work later at the original Holiday Inn, where he performed janitorial duties, until he had surgery for prostate issues at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Montgomery.
Fletcher’s advice for people is to trust in God. He said, “If you trust in God, he will take care of you.”
His favorite scripture is Acts 16:30-31. It recounts when Paul and Silas were jailed. [The jailer asked Paul and Silas] “What must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
He added that he has never been in a fight because he could take things, stating, “Until this day, I know how to treat people.”
For his birthday, a processional of cars drove by his residence, blowing horns and singing happy birthday on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 3.