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Harold Lee CurtisDecember 6, 1935 ~ October 9, 2017 (age 81)
Harold Lee Curtis, 81 year old resident of Gate, OK lost his battle with Parkinson’s on Monday Oct 9, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family. Funeral services are being held on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at 10:00 am at the Gate Friends Church with Rev. Mike Mahaffey officiating. Internment will follow at the Gate Cemetery.
Harold was born 2 1/2 miles southwest of Gate in his grandparents home at the McLeod farm Dec. 6, 1935 to Eldred and Juanita (McLeod) Curtis. He was joined three years later by his sister Carol Joan.
He attended and graduated from Gate school, except for one semester in high school where he played football in Follett, Texas. After graduation Harold went to Draughns Business College in Amarillo, Texas and studied Telegraphy. After graduating, he worked for the Santa Fe Railroad with most of his time spent at the AY Tower in Kansas City. Then he enlisted in the United States Navy in August 1954 serving his country during the Korean War aboard the U.S.S. Phillip Destroyer as Head Radioman. He cruised on the destroyer for 3 years and 8 months along side the U.S.S Philippine Sea Aircraft Carrier as part of a Hunter-Killer Group from 1954 to 1958. He was honorably discharged in July 1958.
Harold loved playing baseball. In high school, he was a pitcher for the American Legion Ball team at Beaver for 2 years and the Follett, Texas town team. In the Navy, he was a catcher on his ships softball team and while in port at Pearl Habor on the Navy Coast Guard League. When on a furlough, Harold and Lila Fern Heglin were married March 26, 1956. They shared 61 years and 6 months of marriage and three children- Leilani Sue, Craig Lee, and Brent Wayne.
When Harold returned home, he attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University at Alva, OK from 1958-1961. With 13 hours remaining to complete his degree, he was appointed Rural Mail Carrier at Gate, OK. Then after 37 years of public service, Harold retired April 3, 1993, and began full time farming and ranching. He also served on the Gate Fire Dept. and retired after 20 years.
The Gate Methodist Church was his home church. He loved singing and sang for many funerals and some weddings. Even after the Parkinson’s had affected his voice, he could still sing along with the radio in the car and with his daughter, Leilani.
Even after he couldn’t play the game anymore, his favorite pastime was watching. Harold and Lila loved watching sports year round, whether it was at the high school, college or professional level. They were avid fans and faithful followers of their grandkids and nieces and nephews. Harold always looked forward to a good card game with family, especially during the holidays. Even in the last week of his life, he enjoyed watching games on TV with his son Craig, and beating his granddaughter one last time in a pitch game.
Harold was preceded in death by son Brent, parents Eldred and Juanita, sister Carol and brother-in-law Lester Priest, father and mother-in-law Bud and Hazel Heglin and brother-in-law Dale.
He is survived by his wife Lila Fern, daughter Leilani Carlisle and husband Don, son Craig Curtis, grandson Trey and wife Amy, Jordi, K’dawn and husband Britt, Hartly, and Nikki. Great grandchildren Jax, Dean, Cal, Sage, and Sonny. Friend and brother-in-law Robert and wife Tereasa. He had a special love for his nieces and nephew’s and Cousins Van, Jovetta, and Janell.
Memorials may be given to the Gate Methodist Church PO Box 84, Gate, OK 73844 or the Gate Cemetery c/o Lila Curtis Rt. 1 Box 22, Gate, OK. 73844
Rt. 1 Box 22, Gate OK 73848
Gate Methodist Church
PO Box 84, Gate OK 73844