Curtis Paris


VIEWING: St Augustine Catholic Church, 1728 W. University Ave, Gainesville FL, Sunday 07/26 @ 7pm

FUNERAL SERVICE: St Augustine Catholic Church, Monday 07/27 @ 2pm

REPAST: The Emerson Center, 1938 W University Ave, following services.

 Mr. Curtis William Paris, Jr., was born September 11, 1947, to Rev. and Mrs. Curtis William Paris, Sr. He began his educational journey in the public schools of Duval County and graduated from Northwestern Junior Senior High School in 1965. Curtis continued his education at Alabama State University, where he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and played baritone in the Marching Hornets band, until being drafted into the United States Army where he served as a Military Police. After completing his military service, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and was a member of the first graduating class of the University of North Florida. On February 25, 1971, Curtis married the love of his life Jacquelyn Legette and to this union one son, Calvin William Paris, was born. In 1980, he and Jacquelyn began the McDonald's training program and were awarded their first restaurant in 1982 in Atlanta, Georgia. Together, they built the foundation for what would become a career spanning more than 35 years of franchise ownership and entrepreneurship. On Saturday, July 18, 2015, Curtis departed his earthly life and reunited with his parents and younger brother, Alonzo Paris, who preceded him in death. His life and legacy will be cherished by his wife and Queen of his heart, Jacquelyn Legette Paris; son, Calvin William Paris (Annette); Sisters, Brenda P. Whitfield and Janice P. Hice (Alexander); Mother-in-law, Mrs. Edith Legette; Aunt, Mercedes Flennoy; Godmother, Ms. Johnnie Mae Hopkins and a host of loving relatives and friends. Funeral Mass for Mr. Paris will be held 2:00pm, Monday, July 27, 2015, at Saint Augustine Church, 1738 W. University Avenue, Gainesville, Florida, 32603. The family will receive visitors at the church on Sunday, July 26, 2015 from 7-8pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville or the Reichert House in Gainesville.

Local McDonald’s owner and ‘great man,’ Curtis Paris, dies

By Olivia Vega

Published: Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.

Curtis Paris, a local businessman who owned and operated 10 McDonald’s restaurants throughout Gainesville with his family, died last week. He was 67.

“Mr. Paris was respected by everyone,” said Sherry Houston, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida. “His commitment to the community was seen in his service and his philanthropy. He’s probably one of the finest men in Gainesville.”

Born Sept. 11, 1947, Paris grew up in Duval County and graduated from Northwestern Junior Senior High School in 1965. He then attended college at Alabama State University.

While in school, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a member of the Military Police. After his service, Paris received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and was a member of the first graduating class at the University of North Florida.

It was in 1980 when Paris and his wife, Jacquelyn Paris, began the McDonald’s training program. The pair owned their first store in Atlanta in 1982. Since that time, the two, along with their son, Calvin Paris, have owned and operated 10 Gainesville McDonald’s.

The trio’s success with the Gainesville franchise won them the Ronald Award in 2014.

Curtis has served as the past president of Atlanta’s Black McDonald’s Operators Association and as a Florida representative for the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association.

He was involved with the local community, including the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Ribbon Committee. Paris was also a member of the board of directors for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida.

Houston said board meetings will never be the same without being able to glance Paris’ way.

“When he thought something was important, he would sit a certain way,” Houston said. Whenever things were a little humorous, “he would smile and his eyes would twinkle.”

“With everything that he did on the board, he always did the right thing,” she said.

In 2010, Paris received the Fay Armes Heart of the House award for his service to the Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville.

Outside work, Paris loved cooking and dining with family and friends. Paris and his wife won an award for their pecan pie during an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority fundraiser back in 2010.

“When you were in his presence, you knew you were in the presence of a great leader,” Houston said. “He was a great man.”

Paris is survived by his wife, Jacquelyn Paris; son, Calvin Paris; and sisters Brenda Whitfield and Janice Hice.

go to bottom 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page

07/22/15 02:09 AM #6    

Joyce Foreman (Ballard)

I am deeply saddened by the loss of our classmate and  friend, Curtis Paris. My condolences to Jackie and the family. I am even more saddened by the fact that I was unable to attend  our 50th class reunion where I could have shared memories from earlier years and caught up on the present. Let's try as much as possible to live the rest of our lives with no regrets.

Joyce Foreman Ballard

07/22/15 02:27 PM #7    

Claryce Merritt (Jones)

I wish to take this opportunity to extend my condolences to Jackie and the entire Paris family. This is not goodbye but see you later. Take your rest.

07/22/15 08:26 PM #8    

Beverly Cohen (Sanders)

This was just devasting news to hear of Curtis's passing so soon after our reunion.  It just goes to show how precious each moment is that we have to share our love for each other. My thoughts and prayers go out to Jackie and the family.

07/25/15 02:54 AM #9    

Rhonda Mitchell (Addo)

Words are hard to come by, when the vision in your mind is of a handsome young man you remember as a teenager. Jackie you and Curtis found true love at an early age, what a blessing that the two of you were so sure, that it lasted a life time. My sincere prayers are with you and I'm so sorry that he's gone!

"Keep the memories close" 

 God Is still Blessing you right now!

 Rhonda Mitchell-Addo

07/25/15 06:32 AM #10    

Geraldine Dixon (Fowler)

To : Jacqueline and son, I am so very sorry for this great loss. I am prayerful for you and all 

who love him. God bless you. Geraldine Dixon Fowler

07/25/15 10:37 AM #11    

George Alexander

I was truly saddened on hearing of Butch's passing.  Jackie please accept my most sincere condolences.

07/25/15 04:04 PM #12    

Patricia Alexander (Stokes)

Dear Jackie, words alone can’t express the sadness that I feel for you and family in the passing of our dear classmate and your beloved Curtis. May you find comfort in knowing that you have family, classmates and friends to support you during this period in your life.  It’s amazing how God arranged our 50th Class Reunion to take place prior to Curtis demise, allowing all of us to enjoy his presence. I pray that all of us will consider fellowshipping and demonstrating love for one another whenever the opportunity present itself, because we never know if we may see each other again.

Your Majorette Sister… sending “Much Love & Many Blessings to you & family”

07/26/15 02:27 PM #13    

Gloria Lewis (Young)

So sad to hear of the passing of my homeroom mate. Only the good Lord knows when we need to come to our heavenly home. While on the this earth Curtis was well known and appreciated for the work he did. He earned his wings in the kingdom. What a blessing to have known him.  May he R.I.P.


07/26/15 04:16 PM #14    

Muriel Lewis (Lee)

Jacqueline and family,

You have my sympathy and prayers for your comfort and peace.  God will Supply all that you need. Trust in Him for that strength. Keep the Faith.

Sincerely, Muriel Lewis Lee 


07/30/15 04:55 PM #15    

T. Curtis Simmons


It is absolutely shocking and saddening to learn of Curtis' untimely death .  Please accept my deepest condolences.  From the information posted in his profile, Curtis completed God's work on this earth and is with the Lord.  In addition, judging by the Comments posted to the Northwestern's webpage, Curtis' indomitable spirit continues to shine brightly in all of us as we remember him from high school to the current time.  I pray for God's blessings for you and your family.

T. Curtis Simmons, M.D.


go to top 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page


Click here to see Curtis' last Profile entry.