Mother Annise Dean Curtis



On October 12, 1931, in Mt Bayou, Mississippi, Walter Dean and his wife Annie (Silas) welcomed Annise to their family.  Annise was the second of five daughters to be born to their union. The family traveled from the South to the North and the Dean girls were raised in East St Louis, Illinois with their father’s brother, Job, before eventually settling in Chicago with Annie’s sisters, Rosie and Clyde.  Her father was a deacon in the church and her mother was a devoted Christian. The Dean girls were raised in the ‘nurture and admonition of the Lord,’ attended church regularly, and endured their father’s long prayers before each meal.

The sisters – Bennie, Annise, Clide, Beatrice, and Gloria – were told they had to get along and play together, because family was so very important.  When their father passed away, their mother was determined to raise morally upright daughters and admonished them to be pure.  Annie refused to remarry, because she said she did not want to have to kill some man about bothering her daughters.  She told her daughters that “if a boy wants to touch your body, tell him he has to marry you first.”  Annie sacrificed for her girls and taught them the meaning of putting your children’s welfare first.

Annise took her mother’s lessons to heart.  When she was in 10th grade, Annise met and married her first husband.  Although the marriage did not last, it blessed Annise with her firstborn, Stanley Earl Louis Hearon.  Annise was raising Stanley with the help of her family in Chicago when she met the love of her life, Herbert H. Curtis.

While riding to work in the car with her cousin Ruth and her husband Amos, Annise would tease strangers standing at the bus stops on South Parkway (aka King Drive). She would offer them a ride and when they accepted, she would say, “sorry, this is not my car.”  One day, they pulled up to a corner and the man she “offered” a ride happened to be Amos’ union rep.  Amos gave him a ride and Annise was so embarrassed that she did not say another word the entire ride. A couple of weeks later, the man – Herbert – asked Amos to formally introduce him to his fine cousin.  Herbert and Annise began to date and eventually married and had a daughter, Deborah, and son, Maurice. Mr. Curtis adopted Stanley. Mother Curtis believed in marriage.

Although Herbert was not a church-going man when they first met, Annise’s unconditional love and fervent prayers penetrated his heart and he joined the family’s church – Christian Hope Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Elder H. B. Brady, Sr.  At Christian Hope, Herbert became a deacon, and Annise was a church nurse. They loved Christian Hope and Pastor Brady and spent their lives serving in the church.  One day, a young woman at Christian Hope said that she wanted to be just like Sister Curtis. Instead of being puffed up with pride, she said, ‘Oh boy, I better make sure that my life is one that someone can follow. I have to watch how I live my life.”  Annise and Herbert focused on keeping Christ at the center of their marriage and served as an example to their children and others in the community.

Annise and Herbert experienced the health, financial, and extended/mixed family challenges faced by many couples, but they never let their children see them fight or displayed any instability in their relationship.  Herbert did everything in his power to make sure that his beloved bride was happy. He loved everything about her – from her smile to her large curvy body. He was the apple of her eye, and she was the love of his life. They were a unified team and exemplified “a match made in heaven” – Annise and Herbert knew that God had brought them together and would not let anything tear them asunder.

In 1979, Annise and Herbert relocated to Las Vegas and bought a home with her sister Beatrice.  They began a life of service at Vegas View COGIC under the pastorship of Elder Claude H. Parson and became Deacon and Mother Curtis.  Despite the denominational change, the transition was not difficult because they’d lived like Holiness people at Christian Hope.  In Vegas, their many grandchildren would spend summers with them, taking road trips to Hoover Dam and Disneyland, and attending Vacation Bible School at Vegas View.  Deacon and Mother Curtis loved following the Christian doctrine and built a tightknit community with the Jones, the Walkers, Margaret Richardson, Carol Gardener, and other members of the church.  For 40 years, Annise and Margaret traveled to the COGIC Holy Convocation in Memphis and St. Louis. They loved the convention, the worship, the prayers, the shut-ins, the sermons, the COGIC Mall, and fellowship with saints from all over the world.  These trips were part of Annise’s longstanding tradition of traveling throughout the country and world with other saints, including a memorable trip to the Holy Land to walk the streets of Jerusalem and see the hill of Calvary.

In 1992, Deacon Curtis, a devout member of the Body of Christ, went home to be with the Lord. Mother Curtis missed his companionship but cherished the time they spent together and celebrated his life and their marriage every day.

In 1996, Mother Curtis and Beatrice moved to Tacoma, Washington where their sisters Bennie, Clide and Gloria were living, and moved into the home Bennie and her husband Seth purchased for the family.  She joined New Jerusalem COGIC in Tacoma under the pastorship of Bishop T. L. Westbrook and became an active member of the Mother’s Board.  After Beatrice passed away, Mother Curtis began caring for Beatrice’s grandchildren Curtis, Joshua, Candace, and Phillip.  The house on B Street East became the family gathering spot and a home to everyone, including her daughter who began living with her in 2014. They welcomed their grandchildren, family members and fellow church parishioners to join them for holidays, parties, or just a friendly chat, and this tradition continued even after Bennie and Seth passed away. The house was filled with love, a loving grandma or auntie, and plenty of great food and sweets.  Mother Curtis was known for her culinary skills and made the best biscuits, cakes, pies, fried chicken, catfish, macaroni and cheese, and stuffed eggs on Earth. She could taste any food and tell you exactly what it needed to make it perfect.

In 2021, Mother Curtis moved with her daughter to Atlanta, Georgia and into a beautiful home that was renovated to accommodate her needs.  She was lovingly cared for by her family and two wonderful caregivers, Shellon and Hawa, and was delighted by the daily antics of her great grandson Amir.  On October 12, 2021, Mother Curtis celebrated her 90th birthday, with family and friends from across the country attending virtually and in person to surround her with love.  She said it was the best birthday party she had ever had.

Mother Curtis departed this life on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at 4:16pm EST surrounded by her daughter and grandchildren, Annisah and Khalil. As her soul moved towards Heaven, she showered blessings on her family and bid all of us farewell.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Herbert; grandparents: John and Lula (Walls) Silas, grandparents-in-law: Sam and Laura Dean;  parents: Walter and Annie; Aunts: Rosie, Clyde, Clara, Martha, Beatrice, Anna Mabel, Uncles: Thomas, Sam (Buddy), Job, Phillip, Andrew, George, Mabel; brother: Sammy; sisters: Beatrice, Bennie, and  Gloria; son: Stanley; step daughters: Yvonne, Eloise, and Arlene; niece: Drew; cousins: Ruth, Bonnie, Mildred, Juanita, George, Deola, Amos; pastors: Elder H. B. Brady, Bishop T.L. Westbrook and Elder Claude H. Parson; friends: Mary Forte, Joan Forte.

She leaves to mourn her passing and celebrate her life, her sister Clide Claudia Cobb, brother-in-law: DeWitt C Jones, Jr; her daughter Deborah (Rashad) of Atlanta, her son Maurice (Carol Tenia) of Chicago, Mark Schofield, her grandchildren: Toineka, Tramel, T’mil, Stanley, Jr;  Kimberly, Annisah (Khala), Khalil (Rocky); Frances, Maurice MC (Rochelle), James (Leila), Jameelah (James), Jamal (Utica), Gerard (Krystal), Kenneth, Leo,. Great grandchildren: Israel, Omar, Waleed, Croix, Jaleelah, Donald, Diamond, Zyed, Xavier, Mason, Ja’lon, Ariya, Na’raja, Furyan Sky, Seth, Samuel, Lorraine Annise, Michael, Amir, Gabrielle Simone, Great Great grandchildren: Amir, Harper; Nieces and Nephews: Arcenia, Jesse, Sandra, Leo, Leora, Carol, Anthony, Careo, Hannah, Simeon, Mercedes, Kenadee, Tchernavia, Daylen, Cheryl, Madeline, Hannah, Donald (Chineta-Candy), Curtis, Joshua, Phillip, Candace, Dominic, Phillip, Jr, Dewitt, III (Kim), D’Jeinele (Nathaniel), Dominique, Dewitt IV, Judah, Mya, Annie Ruth (Ricky), Jasmine, Kevin, Neal, Gloria Annise (Peter), Peter, II, Michaela, Dorcas, Preston (Becky), Moses, Micah, Ayla, Levi, JoAnne Davis, Cousins: Tyronne (Pat), Juliette (Kofi), Shirley McCray, Penny, Juanita Truitt, Daneen Offard,; nieces and nephews: Arcenia, Sandra, Leo, Leora, Carol, Donald (Chenita), Cheryl, DeWitt III (Kimberly), Annie (Ricky), Neal, Gloria Annise (Peter), Jamel Preston (Becky) and their children; Cousins: Shirley McCray, Juanita Truitt, Daneen Offard, Pamela Purnell, Friends: Margaret and Carol Richardson, Fannie Shanks Williams, Princella Brady Lee, Sandra Robinson, Mary Boyd, Audrey Washington, Eileen Jordan, Elder Hatcher, Bobby and Joanne Thomas, Elder and First Lady McCain, Deb Lee; her in-laws: Deborah Williams, Zadella Curtis, Bob and Naomi Godfrey, and Derek Johnson, Daisey and Gail Roberson, Deidre; caregivers: Shellon, Hawa, Tina, Linda, Brittany.

Celebration Service

Saturday, August 13th

10:00am Viewing & 11:00 am Celebration

New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ  1623 South 11th Street Tacoma, WA 98405