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Wilkes County Veterans History Project: Curtis "Blaine" Lomax

Curtis "Blaine" Lomax's Photos

Curtis "Blaine" Lomax's Story

Curtis "Blaine" Lomax was born on January 15, 1944 in West Grove, Pennsylvania to Rev. Rhea and Mary Louise Smith Lomax.

"I was the oldest child in the family, with three sisters; Millicent Ann; Beverly Jill and Deborah Jeah.  I also had a stepbrother, Rhea Swann. Dad was a minister of the A.M.E. Zion Church. We moved quite a bit within the state of Pennsylvania doing our early years. The last move was to Philadelphia, Pa. in June 1956. Dad told us he wanted to settle down so that we can be more involved in school and other activities. We grew to be responsible adults and to make our own way in life with help from mom and dad.  Dad and mom wanted the best for their children, so they decided to establish the Lomax Ensemble to include the kids who play various instruments and who also sang. The instruments included the piano, violin, accordion, flute. We went to different churches and other places to show off our skills."

Blaine enlisted in the United States Army in August 1966 and while serving, worked as a medic from 1966-1969. He was stationed in West Berlin, Germany and was promoted to the rank of E-5. 

"Education was another important factor in “our lives”. Our father made sure that we all went to college. I was the first to graduate from Irving Stone College, in May of 1966. My sisters followed. During the 60’s, a lot was going on, mainly the Vietnam Conflict. Even though Dad and I did not talk about it much, he knew my time was coming. One thing he did say to me about joining the military (that I will never forget) was that if I wanted, he could pull some strings to keep me from going in. I told him “No . . . that I needed to serve my country."

Shortly, following graduation, Blaine enlisted in the Army for a three-year stint, spending time in Berlin, Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1969. 

"I returned to school in September 1983 at the Antonelli Institute of Art and Photography for two years, specializing in photography. I just had this interest in photography. I learned a lot. This was before the age of Digital Photography."

Following his service years, Blaine worked for the Department of Social Services in Pennsylvania, retiring after more than twenty years.   He also joined the Army Reserves, serving during the years 1987-1994, in Philadelphia.

After relocating to North Carolina, he worked for Wilkes County Department of Social Services and as a Child Advocate Worker at Our House. He was also the President of the NAACP, Wilkes County Chapter.  Photography was his passion. 

He was awarded a National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Occupational Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Cold War Army Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and a Professional Development Ribbon. 

Blaine died at age 84, on June 29, 2018, leaving behind his loving wife Kay Dowell-Lomax.