Col. Curtis L. Hankins, US Army, Retired, passed away February 23, 2012, at the Atlanta VA Nursing Home at the age of 95. Born on February 2, 1917 in Glendale, Ark., he was predeceased by his parents, Tommie Harrison and Amy Brown Hankins; a brother, Joseph Sherrill Hankins and a sister, La Rue Hankins Wright. He was married to Melba Ice Harrell Hankins for 55 years until she passed away in 1994.

Col. Curtis L. Hankins, US Army, Retired, passed away February 23, 2012, at the Atlanta VA Nursing Home at the age of 95. Born on February 2, 1917 in Glendale, Ark., he was predeceased by his parents, Tommie Harrison and Amy Brown Hankins; a brother, Joseph Sherrill Hankins and a sister, La Rue Hankins Wright. He was married to Melba Ice Harrell Hankins for 55 years until she passed away in 1994.

Curtis is survived by brothers, Philip Thomas Hankins and wife Ruth of North Little Rock, Ark. and Holland Harrison Hankins and wife Jane of Pine Bluff, Ark.; a daughter Donna Lee and son-in-law Donald Lewis Adams of Atlanta, Ga., and a son Leland Thomas Hankins of Homer, Alaska. His five grandchildren are Christine Kelly Adams, Matthew Donald Adams, Brian Keith Hankins, Jennifer Lynn Hankins and Casey Nicole Regrets, and his two great grandchildren are Grace Adams Ward and Avery James Wheeler. He is also survived by several nephews and nieces, their children and grandchildren.

In 1940, Curtis graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Animal Husbandry. After graduation, his life took a much different path from being a dairy farmer. He joined the Army Reserves and was called to active duty that same year. During his distinguished career in the Army, he served in WWII and Korea. In WWII, Curtis served under General George S. Patton in the 10th Armored Division, fighting across France, at the Battle of the Bulge and across Nazi Germany. He received a battlefield promotion to Lt. Col. and commanded a mechanized infantry battalion of 1200 men at the age of 27. He earned two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars for Valor, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Distinguished Rifle and Pistol Badges, and the Legon of Merit. His infantry career took a different path after WWII when he became an Army pilot, a Master Aviator, and helped pioneer the Aviation Branch of the Army. He flew both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Curtis had many other interesting assignments during his time in the Army. He served as the commander of Crissy airfield at the Presidio in San Francisco, Calif. and Lawson airfield at Fort Benning, Ga., where most of the Army Parachute training is conducted. He also served as the Active Army Advisor to the National Guard in the state of Alaska. Curtis’ passions included hunting, shooting, and fishing. After retirement, he added commercial fishing in Alaska with his son, and big game hunting in Africa to his extensive list of accomplishments. He indeed was a man of many interests and talents.

Visitation for Curtis will be held from 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 23, 2012 at Ralph Robinson and Son Funeral Home in Pine Bluff, Ark. A memorial service will also be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2012 at the Ralph Robinson Funeral Home, followed by interment at Bellwood Cemetary in Pine Bluff, Ark. Curtis will be buried with full military honors.