JAMES D. CURTIS
October 25, 1928 ˜ October 6, 2020
James D. Curtis passed away in his home Oct. 6, 2020, surrounded by those he loved.
Jim was born on Oct. 25, 1928, in Saint Francis, KS, to Velma Walker and Alvin (John) Curtis. He was the second of five children. The family moved to Fort Morgan, CO, when Jim was young. He worked on the family farm, and later delivering gas to the area’s farms.
He enjoyed camping, hunting, and horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains, as well as fishing and water sports. He was active in his community as a volunteer firefighter, member of the Civil Air Patrol and the Elks Club. A highlight of his life, Jim served 12 years as a master sergeant in the Colorado National Guard.
In 1953, he married Marelyn Mueller, and they had two children, Pamela and Julia. In the spring of 1966, the family relocated to Pacific Northwest so that Jim could pursue new opportunities in the propane business. Jim’s job took them around Oregon and Washington, but they settled in Vancouver in 1971. Together the family enjoyed camping, fishing and visiting relatives.
Jim became a sought-after field engineer, leading industrial installations for some of the Northwest’s biggest propane-fired facilities. He tried to retire in his mid-sixties, but his skills were too rare, so he returned as a consultant to continue his work, and teach others “the business.” He retired for good when he was 75 and Marelyn became ill and needed his care. In their retirement, Jim and Marelyn fulfilled their dream of buying a beach house and enjoyed traveling to Alaska, Hawaii, the Cook Islands and especially Germany.
Jim’s grandchildren were the light of his life. You couldn’t talk with him without hearing him brag about Aaron, Josh, Claire or Rylee. He was so proud. You might also hear about his bestfriend, Cleo, the cat, his constant companion for the last seven years.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Marelyn; his parents; and his siblings, Joyce, Lucille, Merl and Marge.
Jim is survived by his children, Pam Curtis (Lennie Bjornsen) and Julie Wilson (Bryan); and his beloved, grandchildren, Joshua, Aaron, Claire and Rylee. And, of course, Cleo, his cat.
Viewing will be Monday, Oct. 12, from 1-4:30 p.m. at Northwood Park Cemetery, 16407 NE 15th Ave., in Ridgefield, WA.
Due to COVID-19, service and burial will be private but will be livestreamed Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. You may find the address to attend the livestreamed funeral, 30 minutes before it begins, on Jim’s obituary page on the Northwood Park Cemetery website: https://www.northwoodparkfh.com/
In lieu of flowers, Jim’s family suggests a donation in his honor to the The Humane Society for Southwest Washington or Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington.
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Published by The Columbian on Oct. 11, 2020.