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Russell L. Curtis


Russell L. Curtis, 89, passed away on Monday, Sept. 19, at Carlinville Area Hospital.

He was born on April 28, 1933, in Hancock County, to Louis and Mary (Prior) Curtis.

Russell met his lifelong love, Lois Frey, in high school in Carthage. They were married on January 26, 1952, in Carthage.

Russell set out as a farmer. As a young man, he was an original member of the Illinois Agriculture Association’s Young People’s Committee and was the youngest Farm Bureau member in the state. He was proud of his honorary American FFA degree. He came to Carlinville in the mid-1970s, where he worked at Prairie Farms for 20 years as Risk Manager and Vice President of Public Relations. He remained in Carlinville, where he was also a member of Memorial Christian Church and the local Rotary.

In his retirement, he enjoyed flower gardening, watching pro wrestling, and spending as much time as possible visiting with family.

Preceding him in death are his parents and a two-year-old daughter, Sandra.

Russell is survived by his wife, Lois; sister, Martha Webb of Carthage; four children, Claudia (Dale) Leonatti of Springfield, Ga., John (Carla) Curtis of Shelbyville, Bryan (Laurie) Curtis of Cartersville, Ga., Janice Donaldson of Carlinville; nine grandchildren, Dr. Stacey (Will) Wilkinson of Townsend, Ga., Andy (Erin) Leonatti of St. Louis, Mo., Matt (Samantha) Donaldson of Carlinville, Clay (KC) Donaldson of Fairview Heights, Zach Donaldson of Carlinville, Micah Curtis of Bloomington, Hannah (Tyler) Burich of Charleston, Sarah (Eddie) Dannys of Urbana, Brianna (fiancé Zack) Curtis of Palm City, Fl.; six great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Russell’s wish was to have no service, and his family is honoring that request. In his eyes, gathering with everyone in August to celebrate his and Lois’ 70 blissful years of marriage was better than any funeral, and his loved ones would not dare to debate his profound wisdom.

Russell would prefer that you honor him by hugging your loved ones and making a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or the Prairie Farms Milk Fund.

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