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Arden Blain Curfman

1921 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Arden Blain Curfman Obituary
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Arden Blain Curfman passed away on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at the age of 91 years young in Fairfield, Calif. He was surrounded by his wife, daughters and grandchildren. Celebration of life: will be held in early September in his beloved hometown of Lisco, Neb. Memorials: May be made to the . Arden's family includes his wife, Dorothy Guenin Curfman; daughters, Carmen Curfman-Moore, Regina Curfman Ott, Jennifer Kivlehan; son, Larry "Chris" Christison; grandchildren, Regina Marie Curfman-Caruso, Marilee Kathryn Curfman-Caruso, J. Blain Ott, Jessica Rae Ott, Robert Judson Archer, Christina Catherine Archer, Mikey Joseph Kivlehan, Michael Christison (deceased), Michelle L. Rapozo; great-grandchildren, Jordan T. Rapozo, Samantha P. Rapozo and Blake W. Rapozo; Dorothy's daughter, Diana Morgan; sons, Steve and Mark Guenin; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Arden was born to William Frederick and Maude Grace Curfman on June 26, 1921, in a sod house on the Nebraska prairie outside Lisco on the land his father and grandfather homesteaded for a dollar an acre. Arden graduated from Lisco High School in 1939 and courted Dorothy Daley, his childhood sweetheart. While hoeing beets with his father, Arden looked up at the sky and saw a plane flying overhead and he said to his father "Some day I am going to do that!" Arden went off to college in Greeley, Colo., in September 1940. He held summer jobs at the Coca Cola plant, the Coors factory and the Stanley Hotel and managed to save enough to pay for 10 hours of flying lessons in a Cub airplane, after which he said "Can't fly a kite, but now I know I can fly a plane!" Arden married Flossie Spears, also from Lisco, and they had one son. They divorced after a brief marriage. Arden was recently reunited with his son which brought him much happiness. Arden was "called up" by the Army Air Corps in 1943 and reported to Fort Leonard Wood in St. Louis, Mo. He was sent to Kansas State as an aviation cadet to attend classes while waiting for Pre Flight School to begin at Lackland Army Air Corps Base. Arden went on to the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Okla., where he finally got into an airplane. His first plane in training was a P-19. Arden pursued his passion for flying and throughout the course of his 33-year career flew the BT-13, UC-78, AT-9, B-24, B-29, B-49, B-17, B-50, C-54, B-47 and B-52, many flights in planes armed with nuclear bombs. He logged over 10,000 hours of flight time, 7,000 hours in the B-47 and 3,000 hours in the B-52. Arden received orders for the headquarters of the Far East Material Command at Fu Chu, Japan, in December 1946. Arden met Virginia "Ginner" Kirby, of Putman City, Okla., and they were married on January 7 and 8, 1949. He was transferred to Davis Monthan AFB and was assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Tucson, Ariz., on July 6, 1949. He flew missions in many parts of the world. Arden and Ginner had their four daughters while stationed in Tucson. Arden was transferred to March AFB (SAC) in Riverside, Calif., in March 1960. He and Ginner laughed at how they had arrived in Tucson with one small suitcase each and left with two Mayflower vans, four lovely daughters, two cars, a dog, a parakeet and his mother! Arden and Ginner learned to play golf while at Riverside and it provided them with a lifetime of fun and companionship with each other and many friends. Arden was transferred to Beale AFB (SAC) in Northern California in the summer of 1965. He was promoted to full colonel while stationed at Beale and deputy base commander. One day, the general called and said, "Curf, how would you like to be the commander of an outfit that doesn't exist?" Arden replied "Yes sir!" The 4200th Combat Support Squadron's mission was highly classified through the CIA. It has since been declassified and years later, Arden was able to talk about the mission which involved the development of the first unmanned drones (D-21s) which were attached to the B-52 and used for reconnaissance missions collecting classified information. Arden made many trips to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and met with members of the CIA and also Mr. Henry Kissinger. Arden was assigned as base commander at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, in the fall of 1970. His next assignment was base commander at Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, in 1971 and he then retired in 1973. Arden worked briefly in public relations for a Fort Worth bank and also partnered with friends to start a small company which built and repaired golf clubs. Arden and Ginner bought their retirement home at Lake Country Estates outside Fort Worth which they enjoyed for 29 wonderful years. Arden lost his dear Ginner in 2003 after they had relocated to Vacaville, Calif., to be close to their family. They were married 54 years. Fate brought Arden and his childhood sweetheart, Dorothy Daley, together again after all those years. The childhood sweethearts had gone their separate ways during wartime when Arden was transferred to Japan. They were married on April 22, 2006, and Arden moved home to Nebraska. They spent a joyful seven years traveling and spending time with family and friends. Arden has taken his final flight and he will be dearly missed by so many. He was a great man, a great father, husband, uncle, brother and grandfather! If you were his friend, you were his friend for life! One thing we know for sure, Arden loved God, this great country and his family, not necessarily in that order. Rest in Peace...Over and Out.
Published in Star-Telegram on May 19, 2013
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