Richard Curtis(1930 - 2014)

CURTIS, RICHARD ALLEN Richard Allen Curtis, 84, of Durham passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 7, 2014. He was born in Hartford on February 11, 1930, to the late Francis E. Curtis and Ruth Loveland Curtis. With the exception of a brief period in Florida that he remembered fondly, Richard called Durham home his entire life. After graduating with Durham High School’s class of 1949, he served in the U.S. Army in Korea for two years. From the early 1950’s until 1973 he owned and operated a television and radio repair business in Durham called Yankee Radio Service. From 1973 until he retired in 2004 he worked as a truck driver. Richard was an avid reader and diarist, as well as a gifted storyteller in the oral tradition. An active man and nature lover, he enjoyed coordinating hiking adventures throughout the New England area with family and friends. In 2000, he traveled to Alaska with his two sons; then to Germany, Scotland and Ireland in 2004 with three of his children; and over the last decade made numerous trips around the country to visit his children and grandchildren. An antique car buff, he could be seen proudly driving his 1931 Model A sedan about town for the past 60 years, and had been happily restoring it since its purchase in 1955. Richard married Edna E. Spencer of Durham in 1961, and together they raised six children. She preceded him in death in 1985 after 24 years of marriage. In 1995 he married Arlene Dudley of Durham. She preceded him in death in 2007 after 12 years of marriage. After Arlene’s passing, Richard became close with Jean Leining of Durham, and they remained loving companions until her death in 2012. He is predeceased by his daughter, Susan Curtis, and survived by five children: Virgil Curtis and his wife, Claire Jacson, of Seattle, Washington; Stanley Curtis and his wife, Christine, of Jacksonville, Florida; Cindy Cochrane and her husband, Matthew, of Clinton; Diana Tuano and her husband, Greg, of South Berwick, Maine; and Dawn Bingman and her husband, Jeff, of Alexandria, Virginia; and by five stepchildren: Wayne Dudley and his wife, Carol, of Middletown; Sandra Logan and her husband, Gary, of Meriden; Katherine Dudley of Middletown; Arlene Schiffer and her husband, Eric, of New Britain; and Lisa Chowaniec of Middletown. He is also survived by his siblings: Irene Roberts and her husband, George, of Durham; Marjorie Curtis of Haddam; and Byron Curtis and his wife, Lyn, of Durham; his beloved grandchildren Evan, Rebekka, Michael, Cassandra, Travis, Riley, Ryan, Colleen, Alison and Henry; his great-grandchild Stella; his grand-niece Ashley; and a large extended family. Richard was proud to donate his remains to the University of Connecticut for the advancement of medical research. A memorial service will be held at The Church of the Epiphany in Durham at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 15, 2014, with a reception following in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, Richard’s family asks that donations be made to the Durham Volunteer Ambulance Corps or the Durham Volunteer Fire Department.
Published in middletownpress on Mar. 12, 2014