|Birth: ||Apr. 20, 1943|
|Death: ||Oct. 23, 2011|
Raleigh Taylor Curtis, 68, of Burley and Rufus, Ore., passed away peacefully at home in Burley on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, with his family by his side after a courageous 2½-year battle with cancer.
Raleigh was born April 20, 1943, in Burley, Idaho, at the Cottage Hospital to Blaine D. and Ruth Brower Curtis. He was raised in Burley and graduated from Burley High School in 1961. He attended Snow College, Ricks College and Western Montana State University. Raleigh excelled in track in high school and college, taking second place in the high jump at the National College Championships.
Raleigh was always involved in agriculture. He worked as a farmer, sprayer and farm manager. In 1978, he went to work at D.R. Curtis Co. as a grain trader. In 1996, Koch Industries bought out Evans Grain (formerly D.R. Curtis Co.), and he was transferred to the head offices of Koch Industries in Wichita, Kan., as a key player in the Koch Agri-Industry Division. He was honored to work for Charles Koch on the Koch Industries Vision Team. Raleigh then was offered a job as general manager of Koch Grain in Clarks, Neb.
After working there for three years, he got an offer he couldn't refuse as the general manager of Mid Columbia Producers Co-op in Moro, Ore., in 2000. It was there he realized his life's calling as a leader, public speaker and adviser and mentor to farmers and business people in the agricultural community. Raleigh was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Grain and Feed Association. He cherished his time at Mid Columbia Producers, and was extremely proud to remain very active in the company and community until his passing.
Raleigh was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having served a mission in Southern Wales and London, England, from 1962 to 1964. Raleigh married Mary Victoria Heard of Brighton Sussex, England, on March 13, 1965, in Greenville, Mich. Their marriage was sealed in the Manti LDS Temple in 1968.
Raleigh's passion for cars started in his teens. He began drag racing in his early 20s and, in 1978, he was introduced to Stock Car Racing. Racing was always a family affair. The first day at the track in Rupert, Raleigh met Cloyide (Claude) Marion and his wife, Ann, who quickly became lifelong friends and part of Raleigh's racing family until Raleigh retired from racing in 1994. He was president of the Magic Valley Stock Car Racing Association from 1979 to 1981. Raleigh was also an official at the Magic Valley Speedway. He also loved restoring old cars and belonged to Magic Valley Early Iron Car Club in the 1980s and early 1990s. Raleigh drag raced for the last time on a whim in Gooding at High Desert Speedway in April 2010, shocking everyone by winning first place in his division after 16 years of retirement. He loved bowling, boating and golfing. He golfed as much as he could until his health didn't allow it. He loved watching NASCAR races and Boise State Broncos football with his family.
Perhaps one of Raleigh's greatest passions was his patriotism and love of the American flag. Raleigh proudly displayed the flag wherever he went and was most proud of a magnificent 40-foot flag that he had the honor of displaying at the grain elevator in Biggs, Ore. Raleigh will be laid to rest with an American flag that his son had flown in his honor at Kabul, Afghanistan, in April of this year.
Raleigh is survived by his wife, Mary Curtis of Burley; one son, Air Force Maj. Richard Curtis (Betty Young) of Navarre, Fla.; three daughters, Cindy Curtis-Thompson of Burley, Shanna Curtis of Boise and Amber Thompson (Grant Ploss) of Heyburn. He was very proud of his eight grandchildren, Jason Curtis, Sierra (Jeremie Shultz), Whitney Fuentes, Blake Thompson, Alec Fulwyler, Brett Thompson, Taylor Curtis and Skyler Curtis; and his great-granddaughter, Madison Shultz; two brothers, Gale Curtis of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Denny (Janice) Curtis; and one sister, Susan (David) Toner of Burley. In addition, he is also survived by his two former sons-in-law, Lance Thompson and Barton Thompson, to whom he remained close. He was preceded in death by his parents, Blaine D. and Ruth B. Curtis; grandparents, Kenyon Taylor and Emma Olivia Taylor Curtis, William Gee Brower, and Effie Purnell Brower Crocker.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at the Pella LDS Church, 160 W. 400 S. of Burley, with Bishop Lyle Sager officiating. Burial will be at the Declo Cemetery. In addition to the funeral in Idaho, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at the Sherman County Junior/Senior High School, 65912 High School Loop in Moro, Ore.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Celilo Cancer Center in The Dalles, Ore., MSTI in Twin Falls, and Intermountain Home Health. We would like to particularly thank his nurse, Tawny Pirtle, for all the special care he received and for going above and beyond to help our family through this difficult time.
Raleigh took great joy in helping others. He said cancer was a blessing as it brought many special people into his life.
Posted in Obituaries on Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Blaine D. Curtis (1911 - 1972)
Edna Ruth Brower Curtis (1912 - 2002)
Gale Blaine Curtis (1933 - 2014)*
Dennis Rex Curtis (1937 - 2014)*
Raleigh Taylor Curtis (1943 - 2011)
Created by: Annie
Record added: Oct 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79187443
David M. Habben
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