Hillman C. Wideman Jr.
As the seasons move from summer to fall and the moon wanes toward being new, Birmingham, Ala., loses another of her native sons. Hillman Curtis Wideman Jr., born Aug. 16, 1924, passed away Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 at Shelby County Medical Center, of a heart attack.
Curt, as all who knew him called him, was known for his active lifestyle, his keen intellect, his patriotic and civic stance, and his “can do” approach to his work and life. After he graduated from West End High School in 1942, Curt served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Alabama and graduated in mechanical engineering in three years.
Curt received his professional engineering and land surveyors registration from the state of Alabama in 1953 while working for and building Vanity Fair Mills and Community Center complex in Monroeville, Ala. Shortly thereafter, Curt accepted employment with Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in 1956 and retired from same there in 1986. He worked for ARAMCO managing the construction of special projects such as schools, hospitals, living facilities and recreation facilities. While at ARAMCO, Curt met and married Merle Lewis, his wife of 47 years.
The 25 total years he was employed with ARAMCO were interrupted for five years during the ’70s due to Middle East unrest. Curt was employed during that interruption by Hospital Building and Equipment Company in St. Louis, Mo., as their head of construction, managing all project managers and project superintendents constructing new and renovated hospitals across the U.S. and abroad.
Curt loved his sports. As an avid golfer and traveling internationally, Curt took the opportunity to play at such renowned courses as St. Andrews and Gleneagles, Scotland, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. When he retired, Curt and Merle settled in Pinehurst. They both enjoyed embracing and being embraced by the Pinehurst community, leading both to become involved in various civic and charity events and programs.
Curt volunteered his time to manage the construction of a new municipal fire station and office facilities for Pinehurst, contributing the expertise he had developed during his career in the construction industry.
In 2009 Curt and Merle returned to the Birmingham area to be closer to family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hillman Curtis Wideman Sr. and Ruth Dollar; his brothers Bill and James Wideman; and his sister Clara Doyle. He is survived by his wife, Merle Lewis Wideman; his children, Linda Chandler, Curtis Lewis Wideman (Tina), Kay Moore, Keith Wideman, Cindy Wemhoff (Greg) and Michael Brooks (Nancy); his grandchildren, Sheryll Chandler Coleman (Rick), Dwight Chandler, Alyson Wideman, Andrea Williams, Curtis Wideman, (Kathleen), Heather Moore, Shawn Wideman (Alice), Jonathan Wemhoff (Christine), Jennifer Wemhoff and Jessica Wemhoff; and great-grandchildren, Ryan, Jason, Amber and Tyler Coleman, Robert and Benjamin Wemhoff, Kaiden Barley, Riley Smith, Garrett and Gavin Chandler, Hunter Williams and Lily Wideman.