Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

William Floyd Curtis

Nov. 28, 1924 - Nov. 9, 2018


November 22, 2018

William Floyd Curtis

William Floyd Curtis

With his kind eyes and gentle smile Floyd completed his last earthly dance, dying peacefully on November 9, 2018, three weeks before his 94th birthday.

Born on November 28, 1924 at Deaconess Hospital, Floyd was the oldest child of Earl and Maude Curtis. He grew up in Thornton and Rosalia, graduating from Rosalia High School in 1942. He was drafted into the navy in 1943 at the age of 18. Floyd attended boot camp at Farragut. During World War II, he was assigned to work with a 4000 member crew on the USS Hancock naval carrier. The USS Hancock was off the coast of Japan during the historic event of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

After the Navy, Floyd returned to the Thornton/Rosalia area, working 40 years repairing furnaces and distributing petroleum products to his loyal customers. Floyd loved to dance and at a Rosalia Street Dance he met Lenore Ackerman. They were married in 1948. Working together, Lenore as Floyd's bookkeeper, they raised four children, Doug, Susie, Dave and Dan on their 18 acre farm along with cows, horses and sheep. It was a busy rewarding life, helping out with the 4-H and FFA projects and attending the boys' sporting events. Floyd and Lenore enjoyed their Wednesday Dinner Club, taking dance lessons and attending performances at the Civic Theatre. Floyd often referred to his career as a "sheep herder," herding and shearing as many as 60 sheep at a time.

He was active in Lions Club, he was a Little League coach and umpire and drove the Rosalia School sports team bus to games. Floyd would MC the local sports banquets and other important gatherings, always having a special story or joke to share. He was active in the local talent shows, once as a bathing beauty!

In 1986, his heart was totally broken when Lenore, the love of his life for 38 years, passed away of cancer. He retired as a fuel oil dealer in 1989. He moved to Spokane after marrying Elaine Stevens whom he met at the Crystal Chandeliers Ballroom Dance Club. They were best of friends for 32 years, married for 26 years of those years. They took Tai Chi lessons at their church. He became so proficient that he found himself teaching Tai Chi for the Spokane Community College Extension Program. Floyd and Elaine took a Tai Chi trip to China with their Tai Chi teacher. He became interested in Healing Touch, Compassionate Communication (NVC), the Jesus Seminars, Bible classes and drying pears people couldn't resist. An avid sports fan, he rooted for the Cougars, Patriots, Seahawks and GU Bulldogs. He was a 25-year member of the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Floyd was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Maude Curtis; two sisters, Muriel Curtis and Margie Harrington; his wife, Lenore Curtis; and a son, Dan Curtis. Floyd is survived by his wife, Elaine Stevens; children, Doug (Cindy) Curtis, Susie (Kent) Strohmaier, Dave (Lynn) Curtis and step-son, Jon (Jocilyn) Stevens. Grandchildren: Heather, Tyson, Whitney, Danielle, Chad, Kiely, Shane and Jason. Step-grandchildren: Josh, Jeremy and Angelina. Great-grandchildren: Sydney, Addison, Reagan, Kennedy, Noah, Josiah, Amelia, Easton and Cullen. Step-great- grandchildren: Tristin, Trinity, Rylie, Micah and Harleigh; and three nieces.

Floyd always loved his family and many friends. Meeting new people was very important and he liked hearing "their slant on things!" He believed in using caring words and having a listening ear. Floyd will be greatly missed by all of his family and many friends. Every time you hear or tell a new joke, remember Floyd's awesome sense of humor, his kind eyes and his gentle smile. Our warmest gratitude for the life-giving care of his heart doctors: Leland Sewik, Donald Canady and Ellie Mueller. Also to Emilie Court, St. Joseph Care Center and Hospice of Spokane for their gentle care.

A morning graveside service will be held in Rosalia at the IOOF Cemetery on November 28, 2018 at 10:30 AM. The same day an afternoon Memorial Service will be at the Unitarian Church, 4340 W Fort Wright Drive, Spokane (325-6383) on November 28, 2018 at 2:30 PM. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be sent to the Union Gospel Mission: PO Box 4066, Spokane, WA 99202-0066 or to the Providence VNA Home Health, PO Box 3989, Spokane, WA 99220.


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