Curtis Bay, a longtime Killeen businessman who brought grocery stores to the growing city in the decades following the formation of Fort Hood, died late Wednesday evening from natural causes in Salado. He was 90 years old.
Bay, who owned and operated multiple grocery stores in Killeen and Harker Heights, was known by most as a man who loved his family, his church congregation and serving the community.
Bay is the younger brother of the late Cleo Bay, another well known local businessman who opened Killeen Chrysler Plymouth in 1973 and later Cleo Bay Honda, as well as other local businesses.
Curtis Bay lived in Salado, but previously lived in both Killeen and Harker Heights, and came from a “quality family,” according to Fred Latham, of Rancier Realty.
“I met both Cleo and Curtis in church around 1976, when I first got into real estate. For a good while I managed rental property for Curtis and Cleo, and working for them was truly a pleasure.” Latham said.
Curtis Bay and business partner Gary Dover owned Bay-Dover Inc., which at one time operated five Independent Grocers Alliance, or IGA, stores in Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton, Salado and Hewitt.
Latham and the Bay brothers attended First Baptist Church in Killeen.
In 1951, Cleo Bay founded Modern foods, which later became a part of the Minimax grocery group operated by Curtis Bay.
Curtis Bay was born Dec. 26, 1926, in the Tama community on the Cowhouse Creek in Coryell County.