TROY CURTIS &Quot;CURT&Quot; HAMES JR. Marion Curt Hames, 92, of Marion, was welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven Sunday, April 30, 2017, at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha. The family will greet friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, at Antioch Christian Church, Marion, where Curt was an active member. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 4, at the church, followed by a light lunch, then procession to Oak Shade Cemetery, Marion. Arrangements by Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Marion. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Norma B. Hames; children, Troy C. Hames III (Sandi) of Coralville, Barbara B. Hames (Dan Bryant) of Cedar Rapids and Cynthia G. Hames (Charles Tomes) of North Liberty; sisters, Luella Lowery of Rogers, Ark., and Nancy Loncarich of Bella Vista, Ark.; along with numerous beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Curt was born in the mining town of Treece, Kan., on March 26, 1925, to Troy C. and Zetta Faye Hames. Curt was one of 10 siblings, five of whom died in infancy. They lived in Treece until he was 4 years old, when the family moved to Goodman, Mo., to farm. As this was the Depression era, Curt helped earn money by taking their homegrown fruits and vegetables to sell at market in Joplin, Mo., with his Uncle Ott. Any produce that wasn't sold, they would sell door to door, which began Curt's lifelong love of people and successful sales career. Curt graduated valedictorian of his class at Goodman High School in 1942. He attended Springfield Teachers College in Springfield, Mo., (now Southwest Missouri State) for one year, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in World War II, deployed to Korea in 1950 and 1961, and deployed to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict. Curt met his bride, Cpl. Norma Grannan, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in 1954. Norma was a base reporter for the Hilltopper newspaper and Curt was determined out of the 40,000 other men on base to capture Norma's attention and she reciprocated by making him the subject of weekly news articles. Norma's frequent, well-written news stories included Curt's expertise as the athletic director of the entire base, his tenacity as a drill sergeant and excellence as an officiate/referee for men's and women's various athletic events. They were married April 1, 1957 and recently celebrated 60 wonderful years of marriage. Curt was promoted to sergeant major in 1967 and accepted an assignment in Bangkok, Thailand, as command sergeant major. Norma and their three children accompanied him to Thailand for two years, where he served as military advisor to the king of Thailand, and helped train Thai, Vietnamese and American soldiers during the Vietnam War, among other duties. Curt and family returned to the United States in 1969. He retired from active military after serving for 23 years and they chose to pursue the American Dream. A friend of Curt's who was a mobile home dealer in Joplin, Mo., was looking to extend his franchise into the Eastern Iowa area. Curt and Norma decided this would be a good opportunity, and in October 1969, chose Marion, Iowa, to begin the next life adventure. Having a small amount in savings, they began Homestead Mobile Homes. In 1971, Curt and Norma purchased the franchise and Hames Mobile Homes Inc. began. They worked together, side by side, to build their business over the years. Hames-The Homes People is one of the most recognized and respected brands in Eastern Iowa. Together with their children, Hames Homes has helped over 15,000 families with affordable housing and provided them with quality and safe manufactured home communities to live in. Curt worked tirelessly to improve the discrimination that was imposed upon manufactured housing and to improve the image of them from "trailers" to mobile homes. He served as vice president of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association. Later, as president and board member of the association, he greatly influenced for the better the laws, image, safety and operations of the industry. Other accolades among many, include Recreational Vehicle & Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame Lifetime Inductee and Iowa Manufactured Housing Association Hall of Fame Success never spoiled Curt. Growing up during the Great Depression, he was very frugal with his purchases. He knew that being a successful business owner allowed him to help others. It wasn't uncommon to see Curt bargain hunting for household supplies and then greet a stranger in the parking lot and give her a $20 bill that she "dropped." Curt Hames advocated for good government and sought out individuals to run for public office to better our world. As he often said, "you can't sit on the sidelines." He generously supported candidates with his time, money, advice and encouragement. He was a founder of Linn Eagles, a local Republican political action committee, and winner of several political awards, including the Linn County Republican Hall of Fame, the Lincoln Leadership Award and the John C. McDonald Service Award. He was an honorary colonel in the Iowa Militia. Curt never retired, working until he was 92. ("Retirement is for old people!" he would always say.) He willingly shared his knowledge of government and economy. Many sought him out for business and personal advice. Curt was an avid Iowa Hawkeye football fan and season ticket holder since 1978. He loved his family more than anything, Southern cooking, playing blackjack and traveling. Curt was the original "people person," enjoying talking with anyone about anything and everything. He loved his children and grandchildren more than anything, guiding his family through good and bad times his entire life. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his honor to your local food pantry. Please share a memory of Curt at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.
Posted on Tuesday, 2 May 2017