Obituary for James Curtis
James D. Curtis passed away in his home on October 6, 2020 surrounded by those he loved.
Jim was born on October 25, 1928 in Saint Francis, Kansas to Velma Walker and Alvin (John)
Curtis. He was the second of five children. The family moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado 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 fire-fighter, member of the Civil Air Patrol, and the Elks Club. Jim served 12 years in the Colorado National Guard, achieving the rank of Captain.
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 become 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 best-friend Cleo the cat, his constant companion for the last 7 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), Julie Wilson (Bryan) and his beloved grandchildren Joshua, Aaron, Claire and Rylee. And of course, Cleo, his cat.
Viewing will be Monday October 12th from 12:00-4:30pm at Northwood Park Cemetery, 16407 NE 15th Avenue in Ridgefield, WA. Due to COVID-19, service and burial will be private but will be livestreamed on October 13th at 11:00am pacific time.
In lieu of flowers, Jim’s family suggests a donation in his honor to the The Human Society for Southwest Washington, or Friends of Hospice Southwest Washington.