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Obituaries » Lee A. Curtis

Lee A. Curtis

August 27, 1926 - February 15, 2016

U.S. Veteran

A viewing will be held at Legacy Funerals and Cremations, 3595 N Main Street, Spanish Fork, UT, on Thursday, Feb 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A second viewing will be held at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel, located at 1443 Long Street, Sweet Home, Oregon, on Monday, February 22, at 11:00 a.m., followed by the service at 12:00 p.m. Graveside services will include military rights and will be held at Lewis Cemetery in Foster, Oregon.

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Lee A. Curtis, 89, passed away February 15, 2016. He was born August 27, 1926, at home on a prairie near Greeley, Colorado to Alvin Lester Curtis and Grace Leota (Pummel) Curtis.

His family moved to Payette, ID while he was young and stayed there until Lee was in high school. Lee left high school early and moved to Nebraska with his sister, Elva, and her husband, Max Alexander. He worked on the farm with his sister for a few years before being drafted into the army in September 1944.

Lee was a World War II Army Veteran that served in Okinawa and then Korea as part of the Korean Occupation. In Korea, he worked as a baker and found the job rewarding, as he could sneak some food for a few of the starving children he saw every day. After his return in August 1946 to Payette, ID, he met Ellen Jane Marsh at a local grange dance. They were married March 2, 1947. Lee and Ellen had seven children.

Lee worked at the Coca Cola factory, a sugar beet factory, and in construction doing welding and as a pile buck. He moved his family around between Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. In 1963, the family moved to Sweet Home where he worked on the Green Peter Dam and the bridges over Foster Lake. The family stayed in Sweet Home as Lee traveled to work construction in Oregon and Washington, mostly. He later worked a season in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

In December of 1984, Lee lost his beloved wife, Ellen. He later reconnected with a friend, Gwen Maxwell. Gwen and Lee had been sweethearts at 16, and, after their spouses had passed away, they found each other and were together until Lee’s passing. Gwen helped Lee find his inner artist and submitted a painting he had created into a competition where he won a blue ribbon giving him the confidence he needed to continue.

He loved creating landscape paintings with various animals such as bison, elk, horses, etc. Without a pattern he would cut animal shapes from any paper at hand, even homework, much to the delight of his grandchildren. He also tried his hand at wood carvings and excelled. He enjoyed playing cards, hunting, riding horses, playing horseshoes, and pool. He also loved spending time with friends and family, sharing stories.

He is survived by his sisters, Elva Alexander and Zelda Flock; longtime friend Gwen Maxwell; children Richard Curtis, Vicki (Phil) Coy, Lorena Trejo, Debra (James) Erickson, and Leonard (Skeeter) (Sabrina) Curtis; 18 grandchildren; many great grandchildren; and several great, great grandchildren, along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen; sons David and Larry; his father, Alvin; mother Grace; step-dad Dale May; sisters Dorothy Branch, Thelma Bennet, Margery Standefer, Connie Valentine, and Bernice Potts; and brothers Alva Curtis, Clarence (Ted) Curtis, and Eugene Curtis.

A viewing will be held at Legacy Funerals and Cremations, 3595 N Main Street, Spanish Fork, UT, on Thursday, Feb 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A second viewing will be held at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel, located at 1443 Long Street, Sweet Home, Oregon, on Monday, February 22, at 11:00 a.m., followed by the service at 12:00 p.m. Graveside services will include military rights and will be held at Lewis Cemetery in Foster, Oregon.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.