Mr. Otho Wescott Custis passed away at the Gatehouse on OK Farms in Nandua on Jan. 22, 2022, at the age of 99.
O.W. was the son of Otho Kellam Custis and Mary Wescott Custis, and was born in the family home in Craddockville Nov. 8, 1922. After receiving a degree from The College of William and Mary in 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific until World War II ended. He soon after brought a beautiful Italian woman named Diana home to the Eastern Shore, where they married, raised three children, enjoyed careers, and eventually retired to a family farm in Nandua. He was a merchant who operated a hardware store and John Deere dealership in Craddockville for many years. After closing the store in the 70s, he taught in the Accomack County Schools for 21 years, most recently at Nandua High School as a driver education instructor. He served on the board of directors of the Farmers and Merchants Bank for 31 years, following in the footsteps of his father, O.K., who helped reopen that bank in the Great Depression. His various interests over almost a century of life included service in the Naval Reserve and Civil Air Patrol, “keeping books” for the Pungoteague Ruritan Club, flying his airplanes for fun, traveling the world with his devoted wife, and supporting the Eastern Shore Yacht & Country Club, where he was a founding member.
In addition to his parents, O.W. was predeceased by his loving wife, Diana Ciuffreda Custis; and a sister, Marguerite Custis Wise, formerly of Onancock. He is survived by two sons, Paul Custis (and Wanda) and Roy Custis (and Diane), all of Nandua; and a daughter, Chicki Jo Custis Jester (and Doug), of Fairview. His grandchildren are Tisha Custis Henderson (and Jim), of Stafford, Va., Ryan Custis (and Kathy), of Nandua, Erica Jo Custis (and Berkley), of Norfolk, Steve Custis (and Jessica), of Nandua, and Leah Jester Krueger (and Josh), of Virginia Beach. Great-grandchildren include Schuyler, Jackson, and Wyatt Henderson, Bennit and Kellam Custis, Marguerite and Virginia Custis, and Mason and Josie Krueger. Being one of 16 first cousins, O.W. leaves many Custis relatives on the Shore in addition to a very special group of loving caregivers who became family.
A private memorial celebration for family and friends will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions in lieu of other remembrances may be made to the Pungoteague Ruritan Club Scholarship Fund, 31360 OK Farms Lane, Painter, VA 23420, the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation, P.O. Box 554, Accomac, VA 23301, or a charity of one’s choice.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements are by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.