Robert L. “Bob” Curtis
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November 17, 1933 – March 7, 2021
East Wenatchee, Washington
Robert L. “Bob” Curtis passed away March 7, 2021 at the age of 87 following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Bob was born on November 17, 1933 to Bernard and Elouise (Troutman) Curtis in Wenatchee WA. Bob was raised in Cashmere and attended Cashmere schools graduating in 1951 from Cashmere High School. In 1952, Bob married Patty Pobst (Patty Christensen) and together they raised 4 children in their 25-year marriage.
Bob attended Pacific Lutheran College, graduating in 1955 with a degree in Business administration. He was a strong supporter and alumni of PLU and received the Distinguished Alumni award. In 1956 Bob moved his young family to East Wenatchee and joined his father Bud in opening and managing Curtis Thriftway. The business flourished for many years and allowed Bob to pursue public service through the formation of the Eastmont Jr. Chamber of Commerce, the East Wenatchee Jaycees, of which he was a charter member. He remained active in that organization and became President of the Washington State Jaycees in 1963 and later to become the National President of the US Jaycees.
Bob became active in local politics and in 1968 he was elected to represent the 12th district in the Washington State legislature. Also, during the early 70’s he was active with the Washington State Food Dealers Association and served as the state president in 1971-72. In 1976 he closed Curtis Thriftway and opened
Curtis-C Travel in East Wenatchee. His love of travel created many wonderful travel adventures around the world. In 1986 he partnered with Dr. Bruce Barritt of the WSU Tree Fruit organization to lead tours of orchardists and nursery owners around the world on annual International Tree Fruit Study Tours. They travelled and studied growing techniques in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and China. In all, they conducted 13 tours and escorted hundreds of growers, making life-long friends in every country they visited.
In September of 1996, Bob married his beloved “Lady Vera” (Vera Mays). She became his great traveling ambassador on his many tours and made hospitality her trademark: between the two of them making everyone they met feel welcomed and important. Bob and Vera were very active in the Washington St. Applelarian organization, Bob joining in 1966, and in 1999 Bob was named Applelarian Chancellor and “Lady Vera” served alongside him. Recognizing both of them for the many hours of volunteerism they were rewarded with the Lehman Johnson award in 2008 for outstanding contributions to the Washington State Apple Blossom Association.
Bob was an active lifetime member of Grace Lutheran Church both in Cashmere and Wenatchee. He was active in the Association of WA Business, the East Wenatchee Rotary club, and was named a Paul Harris fellow of Rotary International.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Bud (Bernard) and Eloise Curtis, his sister, Carolyn McCart, his brother Richard (Dick) Curtis, and numerous aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife Vera of 24 years, his children, Joyce (Jon) Vognild, Robin (Jeff) Curtis, Janie (Ron) Dymond, and Brian (Ardys) Curtis, stepchildren Brad Sterley and Brynda Moore. Sisters in-law Neena Fritz and Nadya Curtis. He enjoyed his 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
The family will hold a private celebration of his life with interment at Grace Lutheran Memorial Garden.
Memorials may be made in Bob’s (Robert L Curtis) name to the Wenatchee Chapter, Washington State Alzheimer’s Association, 19031 33rd Ave, W #301, Lynnwood, WA 98036, “for chapter only” in memo line.
The family wishes to acknowledge with deep appreciation friend, Ginni Hinitz, the many staff members for their loving care at Cashmere Care Center, Heritage Memorial Chapel, and numerous others for their many acts of kindness, prayers, calls and messages expressing their love during this long goodbye.