Robert L. "Bob" Curtis
November 17, 1933 – March 7, 2021
East Wenatchee, WA
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, WA, and attended Cashmere schools, graduating in 1951, from Cashmere High School. In 1952, Bob married Patty Pobst (Patty Christensen) and together, they raised four 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, WA, 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 lifelong 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 State 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 Washington 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; sister, Carolyn McCart; brother, Richard "Dick" Curtis; and numerous aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife, Vera of 24 years; children: Joyce (Jon) Vognild, Robin (Jeff) Curtis, Janie (Ron) Dymond, and Brian (Ardys) Curtis; step-children: Brad Sterley and Brynda Moore; sisters in-law: Neena Fritz and Nadya Curtis. He enjoyed his ten grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
The family will hold a private Celebration of his Life with interment at Grace Lutheran Memorial Garden. A drive-through Commemoration will begin at Grace Lutheran Church, 1408 Washington St., Wenatchee, WA, on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 3:00 p.m., with the Applelarian Honor Guard and attendee registration.
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.
You are invited to view Bob’s Online Tribute at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com to view photos, and write a memory and condolence. Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee, WA, is assisting the family with arrangements.