Lee A. Curtis, 89, passed away on Feb 15th, 2016. He was born on August 27th, 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 of 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 of 1946 to Payette, ID where he met Ellen Jane Marsh at a local Grange Dance. They were married on March 2nd, 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, moving 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. They stayed in Sweet Home as Lee traveled to work construction in mostly Oregon and Washington and 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, pool and 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, 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 18th from 6 pm to 8 pm. A second viewing will be held at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel located at 1443 Long Street Sweet Home, Oregon 97386 on Monday February 22nd at 11 am followed by the service at 12 pm. Graveside services will include military rights and will be held at Lewis Cemetery in Foster, Oregon.