1963 - 2020
CHRISTOPHER JOHN CURTIS August 1, 1963 December 22, 2020 Christopher John Curtis (Chris) triumphed over amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for seven years, but with no beneficial treatment or cure, his triumph turned to tragedy in the early hours of December 22, 2020. With his adoring family and dear friends at his side, he passed peacefully in his home. Chris was born August 1, 1963 to John (Jack) and Maria Curtis in Las Vegas, Nevada, and his sister Jeana came along six years later. He grew up attending Catholic schools and graduated from Bishop Gorman High School in 1981. Chris went on to receive an undergraduate degree from UCLA and his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. It was during his time in Los Angeles when he started dating fellow Nevadan Ellen Schmidt. They were engaged in 1991 and decided to return to Nevada to start a family. They married on September 26, 1992. Their son Cameron was born in 1993 and their son Cole in 1997. He was a tremendously active parent, coaching youth basketball leagues, taking his sons to fish and hunt in Sunnyside Nevada (his second home), spending weeks at the beach, and traveling to off road races. Chris was a proud member of both the California and Nevada Bar Associations. He was a well-respected member of the bar, and practiced for 30 years, primarily as an associate and partner at Nevada's Thorndal, Armstrong, Delk, Balkenbush and Eisinger. His illness forced him into an early retirement in December 2016. With time on his hands and a tremendous amount of passion, he and Ellen formed TeamCurtis4aCure and partnered with the ALS Association Nevada Chapter to become an advocate and fundraiser. Chris also joined the board of directors and was a vocal patient advocate. The programs he and Ellen developed and implemented raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chapter. The mission was to provide access to adventure and enjoyment of life to patients throughout Nevada. His mantra #dowhatyoucando was how he lived through his illness. He was the most active ALS patient ever. He was recognized in February 2019 as an ALS Hero by the national association at a ceremony in North Carolina. Chris thrived on adventure. He was a trail runner, fisherman, hunter, motorsports fanatic, hiker, mountain biker and kayaker. He was a passionate fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, and was thrilled to see them win a championship this year. He also thrived on people. He was a people's person. He could (and would) strike up conversations with everyone. Second only to adventure was his love of craft beer, fine wine, and small batch bourbons. He could be seen at the many bars, tap rooms and restaurants around the valley the fun guy in the wheelchair. He turned those connections into meaningful relationships, and in turn created fundraising efforts to benefit Nevadans suffering from ALS. Chris was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents, and his father (and best friend) Jack. He is survived by his wife Ellen, beloved sons Cameron and Cole, mother Maria Curtis, sister Jeana Curtis (Daryl Arrighi), mother- and father-in-law Donna and Bob Schmidt, sisters- and brothers-in-law, many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many, many friends. Services are pending, but there will be a Celebration of Life befitting his zest for living in 2021 when it is safe for family and friends to gather in his honor. The family encourages extending Chris's and TeamCurtis4aCure's legacy of giving with a memorial gift to the ALS Association Nevada Chapter: 3191 E. Warm Springs Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89120 or visit and click donate.

Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Dec. 27, 2020.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
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.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

10 Entries
To all the Curtis family, may I kindly express my most sincere condolences. Chris was such a big influence on me 26 years ago when I was starting my law career. He was like a big brother to me in so many ways extending kindness to me when I knew so few people in Vegas. His generosity will NEVER be forgotten by me. I am forever grateful to have had him in my life for a season. I share your grief and I pray that God can heal your broken hearts, in time. In Sympathy, Alyssa Martini Fischer (and Tim)
Alyssa Martini Fischer
January 9, 2021
Dear Ellen & Family
We are saddened of the news of Chris. Sending our deepest condolences to you all. May God wrap His loving arms around you & our prayers are with you at this time
Love Marietta & Runi Tafeaga
Marietta & Runi Tafeaga
January 4, 2021
I was a neighbor of the Curtis family (3370 Berwyck) in the 70's. My name was Moore at that time. I remember taking Chris and Dennis next door to the Gamblers hockey game in the old Commercial Center on Sahara. Chris and sister, Jeana, were always polite and well-mannered. I am so sorry for your loss. Chris must have grown into an amazing guy!
Sue DeBerardinis
December 30, 2020
Such a super nice guy! As a Gorman High School classmate, I've always remembered Chris as a warm and sincere person. Cherish his memories. My thoughts & prayers to his family.
Steve Gradyan
December 28, 2020
Ellen, I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping you, Cameron and Cole in my thoughts and prayers. With heartfelt condolences.
Gina Gentleman
December 28, 2020
Our love and prayers are with you All. Our loss is heavens gain.
Val Miller
December 27, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of Chris' passing. I pray for the entire family in this time of loss and grief. Love, Cousin Ginny
Ginny McPherson
December 27, 2020
Dear Ellen and Family, We are deeply sorrowed to learn of Chris´ passing. We, and we know you do too, remember happy times with life of vitality and mission committed to bettering the community and making it a better place for those who follow. Chris´ was a life well-lived with a rich and enduring legacy. We are better for being in his company. We hope the memories of the better times, coupled with the affection and support of your many friends and your family are of solace and comfort. R.I.P. With Deepest Condolences.
Clark & Anne Dumont
December 27, 2020
Chris was one of a kind, an inspiration to so many people. He was kind, caring, fun, funny, loving, and always giving of himself. ALS didn't stop his determination to do what he wanted to do. I always admired how his attitude was so positive, in light of what he was dealing with. I will miss you Chris, but will always remember you and your way of approaching this dreadful disease that took your life. May you RIP Mr. Chris Curtis Thoughts and prayers to Ellen, and your family.
Melanie Lowe
December 26, 2020
Maria, Ellen, Jeanna and children. It is with great sadness that we write our condolences. We actually are very shocked. Please know we send our love to you along with much sympathy at all of your loss.
Ralph and Laurie Lupia
December 26, 2020
Showing 1 - 10 of 10 results