Robert Hitchings Remembers Jim Curtin

It is with profound sadness that Norfolk County Historical Society of Chesapeake Virginia, announce the death of our faithful Board member, James Curtin. Jim was a uniquely talented person and a caring individual who loved history; especially Norfolk County History. His wife Pebbles was at his side when he passed. 

I first met Jim at my first Board meeting in September 2014. Helen Spruill was President then and had introduced me as the new Archivist/Historian for the Wallace History room. I never forget after the meeting Jim came over with his down to earthiness manner and said, ”Robert, if you need help with anything, let me know, I live just around the corner.” When I became President, I took him up on his help, and Jim was always there to help me and our society.


He loved to be under the Big Tent, Heritage Day in Chesapeake. This was his big day. Jim never met a stranger and loved talking history to every passerby. And he was most proud, when he could sell our books under the Big Tent. But I remember how Jim loved dressing up with his “Back woodsman out-fit” coming to fight in the revolution. He looked soooooooooooo GOOD!



Last Friday, February 12th I received a phone call that our friend and faithful board member, James Curtin, had passed away. Jim had been in failing health for some time.

As the years went by we became quite close. We liked to joke with each other and he loved it. When I would call him by phone and say, “Mr. Curtin, this is your President calling.”


“Yes Sir, Mr. President, he would reply. What can I do for you Mr. President?”


He also enjoyed me calling him Mr. Boulder because his wife was Pebbles. 

Jim had another hobby, he loved trains and was a member of the Train Association here in our area. Most of all, Jim loved a good train ride!

Last week, I had to stop at the Wards corner intersection to let the Norfolk-Southern train here in Norfolk go by. As the big train approached I could see the engineer blowing his whistle and when I heard the clogging of its wheels, I quickly thought of Jim. That train whistle was a tribute to our friend Jim Curtin; a historian, devoted family man, and a wonderful friend to all of us.


Jim Curtin, you will be missed!

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Reenactment - Robert Hitchings Tracy Kri