Curtis Eugene Kendrick, 63, of Afton unexpectedly passed away on January 3rd, 2023. Better known as Curt, or Poppy to his grandchildren, he was born on June 24th, 1959 to Esther and Paul Kendrick. One of 4 siblings, he grew up in Xenia, Ohio, where he met the love of his life, Rhonda, while she was visiting family across the street. He had just turned 17 years old, she was going on 15 and lived in Tennessee, and they maintained a long distance relationship for 4 years until they married on September 13th, 1980. Curt was a veteran of the US Air Force, serving from 1977-1979. They welcomed daughter Charlena (whom they called Charlie) in 1982, and the family eventually settled in the mountains of East Tennessee in 1989, which Curt believed to be the most beautiful place on earth. As an adult, he went back to school and earned a technical certificate. He was an avid, lifelong reader and extremely proud of his extensive library that he'd established throughout the years. He often told his daughter and grandchildren that reading about real life (nonfiction) was far more interesting than fiction.\n\nCurt loved his home, his farm, gardens, and animals in Afton where he and Rhonda moved in 2010. He loved his neighbors and community, often saying that they made him feel welcome and at home. He was a grill master, famous for his 4" thick smoked Poppy Chops, and it wasn't Christmas unless he made a batch of his beef jerky. Above all, Curt loved his family. He was incredibly fortunate to have spent 47 years with his soulmate, and he raised his daughter to be strong, to think and question, and to never stop learning new things. He was a proud Poppy to his 3 "little monsters" and enjoyed sharing his passions with them, especially farming, an appreciation for classic B horror movies, and target shooting. \n\nHe was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Renee Phillips. He is survived and deeply mourned by his wife, Rhonda Kendrick, of Afton; daughter and son-in-law Lena & Jeff Dean, and grandchildren Jasper, Kellan, & Harlow, all of Greeneville; brother Jack Kendrick of Frenchburg, KY; sister Roseanna McGill of Xenia, OH; and several nieces and nephews. A private Celebration of Life and a tree planting ceremony are being planned by his family.