Homegoing services for Fred Avril Curls, one of the founding members of Freedom, Inc., will be held Friday, May 22, 11:30 a.m. at St. Monica Catholic church. Visitation will be Friday 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Interment will be in Mt. St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Curls was born to Eula Martin and James Curls on March 31, 1919, in Kansas City, Kansas. Curls died Friday, May 15.
He attended W.W. Yates Elementary school and was a graduate of Lincoln High School Class of 1937.
In high school, Curls was a part of the editorial staff of the Lincolnite year book. The 1937 year book described him as “handsome but don’t know it.”
Upon completing high school, he held several jobs that involved food service at Myron Green cafeteria in Downtown Kansas City, a craftsman making Indian jewelry, a janitor at Lake City Munition Plant and an order “boy” that took names of persons who wanted to buy houses.
After 1947, he began to understand the opportunities in real estate and by 1952 he opened Curls Realty Company and became part of the “big three” in real estate along with Robert Williams and Alfred Zollar as African American Real Estate Entrepreneurs. He held positions at the local and regional levels of the Greater Kansas City Real Estate Brokers and in the 1960’s became the first African American appraiser in Western Missouri. He would continue in the real estate industry until his late eighties.
Curls was the last surviving founder of the political organization Freedom Inc. a political organization that fought for racial and political parity. As a member of Freedom, Inc., he structured strategies for working precincts and winning elections along with the development of Young Freedom that cultivated young political aspirants. He remained faithful to the organization throughout his life.
As he semi-retired, he was involved with the Lincoln Alumni Association, was a founder of the Pioneers Club, enjoyed playing poker and dominos with family and friends and would attend special activities of the American Legion since he had served in the National Guard.
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