Family memorabilia fills Randy Curtis’ office at Heights Lumber and Supply in Harker Heights. Photos of grandparents, siblings and Curtis’ young grandchildren adorn the walls of the business Curtis and his family have operated for almost four decades.
Heights Lumber will celebrate its 36th anniversary in June. Last week, Curtis sat in his office and reminisced about his father, who entrusted him with the business he started with a group of business partners in 1960 in Killeen.
“He was a strict disciplinarian and instilled a strong work ethic in me,” Curtis said about his father, A.H. Curtis
The elder Curtis began working at William Cameron Lumber in Killeen in 1942 and opened Curtis Lumber, now 195 Lumber, in 1960.
Randy Curtis, who grew up in Troy, worked for his dad while he was in high school and graduated from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 1971. He and wife Martha married in 1974.
Randy Curtis became general manager of Heights Lumber in 1977 at its current location on Farm-to-Market 2410, staffing four employees. That number grew to 30 and now includes his son, Andy, and his daughter, Kelly.
Andy Curtis, assistant manager, said exemplary customer service and giving back to the community has helped Heights Lumber survive and with large chain stores.
“Competitors give us a challenge, but they can’t do what we do in a cost-competitive way,” he said.
Kelly Curtis Eakin, who has worked at the store since age 15 and has never had another job, enjoys working with family members.
“It is good to work together for a common goal,” she said.
Don Ferrick of Cameo Homes is one of Heights Lumber’s loyal customers. He believes the Curtises are “salt of the earth kind of folks.”
“I was a competitor in the lumber business at one time and found them good and fair competitors,” Ferrick said. “They are honest and run a first-class operation.”
As he reflected on the history of his business, Randy Curtis returned to the one person who influenced him most in life and gave him the best advice.
“My dad told me not to talk about myself too much,” he said.
When they’re not at the store, the Curtises spend time on their ranch, The Grove, and enjoy hunting, fishing and exploring the area. They are also longtime members of Central Christian Church in Killeen.
Herald/Sandra Duffy Oliver