Stanley Curtis
1933 - 2020
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Stanley Curtis
June 19, 1933 - April 10, 2020
Montgomery, NY
It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Stanley Curtis. Stanley bravely fought the COVID-19 virus but succumbed to it at Orange Regional Medical Center on Friday, April 10, 2020. Stanley was born on June 19, 1933 in Medina, New York. He was the son of the late Stanley and Frances Wieczorek.
Stanley taught in the choral/vocal field for over 50 years. He began his teaching career at Monroe-Woodbury Elementary schools as a vocal music teacher. He has been a professor of music at SUNY Orange since 1969. He chaired the vocal music program and taught many of the core music education courses over the years. Although semi-retired, Stanley was a professor emeritus and continued at the college as an adjunct professor teaching several course each semester, right up through this semester's spring break in March. He held a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Buffalo and a Master of Arts from Columbia University.
Stanley had extensive performance credits as a tenor soloist. He initially toured Europe in the U.S. Army with the Fifth Division Red Diamond Chorus. Subsequently, he was engaged as a staff singer for the West German Radio/Television Network in Cologne, Germany. In that capacity, he performed major choral works under prominent conductors. As a soloist, Stanley appeared in performances of more than fifty sacred works. American solo appearances include performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Syracuse Symphony. In addition, for several seasons, Stanley performed at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in choral works with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy. In recent years, he was the tenor soloist for Handel's Messiah held annually at the United States Military Academy in West Point.
With all of his vast musical accomplishments, few meant more to him than the music he created with the singers of the Warwick Valley Chorale. Stanley became the conductor of the Chorale in 1986. Over the past 34 years, creating music with these singers was his greatest happiness. Members of the group often said "there's something about Stanley that just draws you in" or "I'm here because of him". In the moments after a great concert, he would turn to the singers and smile and say "that is what it's all about!" The word "that" may mean different things to different people, but "'that' at its core is a moment where he brought people together to do what they love and where he created a moment of harmony in their lives. And 'that' is what Stanley spent a lifetime doing. To those of you who have had the pleasure of participating in any of his many choral groups, we hope that you cherish those moments as much as he did.
Stanley is survived by his wife of 40 years, Elizabeth "Betty"; his son, Scott, who was the apple of his eye and his sweet granddaughter, Alayna Jacobs.
The family asks that as you remember Stanley, you remember him not as a statistic of an evil virus, but as a man who was kind and gentle and who simply wanted to touch many lives whether it was through creating music together, his college lectures, his wonderful voice or simply his endearing smile.
In Stanley's honor and to commemorate the upcoming 80th Anniversary of the Chorale, a scholarship will be awarded to a student who aspires to pursue a career in vocal music. Memorial contributions can be made to the Warwick Valley Chorale, P.O. Box 1309 Warwick, NY 10990.
At a future date to be announced, there will be a Celebration of Stanley's life where we can gather and share memories. Stanley was a true lover of nature and the changing of the seasons. His final wishes were to have his ashes placed into the various gardens he tended to over his life.
Arrangements under the direction of Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc. To send condolences please go to: www.applebee-mcphillips.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Times Herald-Record from Apr. 17 to Apr. 19, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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56 entries
April 13, 2021
I am thinking of you and your family!
Stephanie Speer
Friend
July 7, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with Betty and Scott as you grieve the loss of your beloved husband and father.
Stephanie Speer
Coworker
May 11, 2020
Such a nice pleasant man always had a smile on his face. My deepest sympathy to his family. May the lord be with you all. He is in a better place.
Sheri Keats
Acquaintance
May 3, 2020
I wish I could have told you how much you meant to me as a teacher and a mentor. You taught me how to really open my voice, and how to truly sing. I could tell that you loved teaching so much, and that there was nothing else you wanted to do. I wish to do you proud in the future, and help mentor the next generation of performers and educators for years to come. Thank you so much for everything, Professor. I will miss you dearly.
Joshua Morales
Student
April 27, 2020
I worked with Stanley at OCCC for many years. I will always remember his kindness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness. He was a wonderful man and I will miss him. My condolences to his family.
Kathy Odell
Coworker
April 25, 2020
So very sorry for Betty, Scott, and the entire Curtis family. This tragic news is sad, shocking, and is an equal opportunity heartbreak for all who knew or worked with Stanley. Mr. Curtis was a tremendous influence as I made my way through the music program at OCCC. and as I assumed my position as teacher/choral director at Middletown High School. I have fond memories of making music and performing with him over the years. He always lit up when we met up & would ask me about my life as a teacher, and would praise me for my work and accomplishments. He was dedicated to his work at OCCC, with the Warwick Valley Chorale, and to his family too. He will be missed!!!
Gregory Bennett
Student
April 25, 2020
OCCC 84-85
Michele Krentz
Friend
April 25, 2020
OCCC 84-85
Michele Krentz
Friend
April 25, 2020
Dear Professor, gentle Maestro, supporting colleague. So blessed to have known you so long. The world is a better place because of your love and dedication. My heartfelt condolences to family.
Michele Krentz
Friend
April 24, 2020
Love
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I remember Mr. Curtis from his teaching days at OCCC. He was the soul of kindness. That kindness was reflected in his teaching and performances. You simply cannot be the artist or teacher he was without the gentle and kind soul that was his. He has a way of finding the potential in a student that even HE did not know that he had. Truly a light has gone out of this world. Mr. Curtis, I salute you sir.
Alfonse Ciaccio
April 18, 2020
Thank yo Stan for the fond memories over the many years of knowing you; from listening to your solo recital & concerts at OCCC to performing with the Warwick Valley Chorale with Brass Quintessence. You were both a good friend and colleague. You always brought joy and the love of music to all those with whom you worked over the years. You will be greatly missed by many. May you rest in peace. Sincere condolences to Betty, Scott, family and friends.
Keith Riddick
April 18, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear of Mr. Curtis' passing. He was instrumental in fostering my love of singing which continues to this day. My condolences to Betty and his immediate and and extended choral family.
Kevin Powers
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