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RADM Richard's Story

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Richard Earl Curtis (Dick) was born in Beckley, WV, on November 17, 1930. He was a class of 1949 graduate of Woodrow Wilson HS. He then entered the U.S. Naval Academy. Upon graduation in June of 1953, he married Pat Lancaster and started a career in the Navy, spanning 30 years. For the next several years, he and Pat would enjoy a succession of 2-3 year tours in New Jersey (Navy Supply Corps School), ship tours, Norfolk, VA, Key West, FL, and NATO command headquarters in Naples, Italy. After that, the Navy sent Dick to Harvard University Business School, where he earned an MBA, with Distinction, in 1961. Next came a series of tours of duty in Mechanicsburg, PA, San Francisco, CA, and Charleston, SC. Dick had always told the Navy to send him anywhere but Washington, D.C., so following Charleston, the Navy sent him to Da Nang, Vietnam, for a one-year tour. Dick always considered his time in Vietnam as his most interesting and challenging tour.
Next followed a series of duty tours over 13 years - in Washington, D.C.! He escaped D.C. only once for a 3-year tour in Charleston, SC, where he was the Commanding Office of the Naval Supply Center. His final tour in D.C. culminated as Deputy Chief of the Naval Supply Corps.
In 1986, Dick retired from active duty and he and Pat moved to San Diego, CA, where he worked as Vice President, U.S. Elevator Company for four years. He then finally retired for good. In San Diego, Dick and Pat spent their retirement raising award-winning roses, traveling worldwide, spoiling grandchildren, and researching their family genealogy. In 2012, Dick and Pat returned to northern Virginia to be closer to family and settled in at a retirement community in Fort Belvoir. He passed away on November 2, 2017.
Dick is survived by his wife Pat, children Steve (wife Sandie), Rick (wife Vikki), and Beth Ostlund (husband John); grandchildren Stephanie, Matt (wife Ashley), Drew, Jeff, Timothy, and Michael; great grandson Judah; sister Suzanne Pouliot.
A memorial services will be held at 11:00AM on Wednesday, November 15th, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Virginia.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 18th, 2017, in the Oak Grove Christian Church will Rev. John Wittmann officiating. Entombment will follow in the Curtis family mausoleum at the Oak Grove Christian Church Cemetery. Friends may call at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, one of Dick's final wishes was that donations be given to Salvation Army in Beckley, WV (312 S. Fayette Street, Beckley, WV 25801, Salvationarmymwv.org).
For more information, go to www.meltonmortuary.com.
Published on November 15, 2017
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