John A. Curtis ’45 died February 7, 2015, in Great Falls, Montana.
(The following appeared in Great Falls Tribune, February 19, 2015.)
Dr. John Abbott Curtis, 91, of Great Falls, passed away on Sunday, February 15, 2015 of natural causes at a local facility.
John was born on July 9, 1923 in Boston, MA, to parents Wolfred A. Curtis and Beatrice Hirtle where he was raised, became an Eagle Scout, and later attended Bowdoin College before advancing to Tufts Medical School. He also attended Dartmouth College where he participated in the Marine Corps V-12 Program. He entered the Marine Corp in December of 1942 and served in multiple divisions until retiring as a Captain in 1952. John reenlisted in the United States Navy Reserve in 1952 where he proudly continued to service his country as a Lieutenant in the Medical Corps division until being honorably discharged in 1963.
In addition to his honorable service with the military, John was a pediatrician at the Great Falls Clinic, Montana Sports Medicine Clinic and was the Medical Director for the Montana State Board of Health Rheumatic Fever & Heart Diagnostic Center.
In 1952, John married the love of his life, Jean LaVaughn Meyers, whom he built a beautiful family with being blessed with two sons and one daughter. Throughout their marriage together, John was a loyal and devoted husband but also a caring and loving father. His friends and family also knew of his jokester side with a strong preference for incredibly corny jokes and his enjoyment for singing old school and military songs. He sat on the lap of and kissed Betty Davis at a Cushing Academy football game and dated Norma Jeane Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe) once or twice while stationed in CA before heading off to war.
Though busy with work and military, John enjoyed many family activities with his beloved wife and children. There was building the canoe and log cabin at the Smith River, hiking and camping, golf, and tennis. John was also a fierce competitor; so fittingly he volunteered as a physician for the CMR High School sports, namely football and wrestling, (35 years) and for the community boxing program. He was a competitor in the Northern Division Masters Ski Program even into his late 80’s. His love for the medical field made him an avid reader of medical journals and was able to get several of his own scholarly articles published as well. He promoted lifelong wellness in his medical practice and publications and remained an active member of The Peak Health & Wellness Center.
John was passionate about serving his community. He was the Chairman of Oral Polio Vaccine Program, Medical Staff President of the Great Falls Clinic, President of Montana Deaconess Medical Staff, Oral Examiner for the American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Physician/Professor for the Univ. of Washington Medical Program, Board of Trustees at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA, a member of the Head Start Health Advisory Board and served on Montana’s Chapter of Pediatrics. He was also avidly involved in Native American Health and served as a member of the Great Falls Public Library Board of Directors.
He was survived by his wife, Jean of 61 wonderful years; sons, Jeffrey Abbott Curtis of Westminster, MA, and Thomas Daniel Curtis of Auburn, WA; daughter, Anne Louise Curtis Boschma of Phoenix, AZ; grandchildren, Aimee Boschma, Brett Boschma (CW2, U.S. Army), Wyatt Curtis, Lucas Curtis, Jamie Curtis, and Jenny Curtis. John was preceded in death by his parents Wolfred and Beatrice.