Friday, October 11, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
Fellowship Reformed Church
2165 West Lakewood Blvd.
Holland, MI 49424
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Fellowship Reformed Church in “Memory of Gene Curtiss”
2165 W. Lakewood Blvd.
Holland, MI 49424
Life Story / Obituary
Leland Eugene “Gene” Curtiss, age 83 of Holland, Michigan, joined his wife of 54 years, Jane Curtiss (decd 2013), in heaven on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Gene passed peacefully in his sleep at American House’s Baypointe Memory Care facility.
Born on May 13, 1936 in Mt. Pleasant, MI, Gene moved around some with his family as a young man as his father died in a car accident when Gene was only 10 years old. Living in Mt Pleasant, Lansing and Traverse City, Gene graduated from Traverse City High School and as a senior, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs to play professional baseball. Over the course of three seasons, Gene spent most of his time with the Washington Senators (Minnesota Twins today) in their minor league system before his career in baseball ended after being drafted again, this time by the United States Army. Gene served our country dutifully during the Korean conflict.
Gene married the love of his life, Jane (Schuring), in Portage, Michigan in 1959 and they continued to reside there until 1976. While in Portage, Gene and Jane had three sons, Kyle (Jackie) Curtiss of Zeeland, Kevin (Nan) Curtiss of Hinsdale, IL and Kirk (Jing) Curtiss of Scottsdale, AZ. Gene was blessed with eight grandchildren, including: Colton, Casie and Coby Curtiss in Zeeland; Ryan, Keaton and Dillon Curtiss in Hinsdale; and Calvin and Norah in Scottsdale. He is also survived by his brother Gary and Sandy Curtiss of Mattawan; sister Carol and Roger Brock of Otsego; sister-in-law Annetta Corstange of Kalamazoo; special friend, Marilyn Pikaart of Zeeland as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. Gene was preceded in death by his brother and his wife, Fred and Kathy Stevens.
In 1976, Gene relocated with his wife and sons to the north side of Holland, MI to begin his career with Brooks Beverage where he worked until his retirement in 1993. During his years with Brooks Beverage, Gene’s duties included both management and sales, and his career was highlighted by his role as Vice President of Franchising for Brooks Beverage’s company-owned soft drink brand, Squirt. Gene spent much of his career building the brand and setting up bottlers around the country to manufacture Squirt.
After retiring, he and Jane traveled more extensively, spending three seasons in Holland and winters in Florida and Arizona, and he had plenty of time to “work” on his golf game. In fact, over the course of his golf career, Gene recorded five hole-in-ones. Gene enjoyed so many activities in life and passionately pursued many of them including, hunting and fishing, wood working, card-playing, reading, and of course, attending his grandchildren’s activities and sporting events. Later in life, you could find him at the ballpark with his favorite dog, Molly, on his lap.
Gene will be remembered for his Christian Faith and for always having a positive outlook on life. He and Jane were former members of the First Reformed Church in Portage where they served as youth leaders. In Holland, Gene had been a member of Fellowship Reformed Church for over forty years.
Memorial services will be held at 11 am Friday (October 11) at Fellowship Reformed Church, 2165 W. Lakewood Blvd., with the Rev. James Baar officiating. Burial will be in Port Sheldon Township Cemetery. Visitation will be 5-8 pm Thursday (October 10) at the Dykstra Funeral Home-Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue.
Memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship Reformed Church in “Memory of Gene Curtiss”, supporting the Fellowship Church Memorial Fund.