Jeffrey Byron Curtis

Services for Jeffrey Curtis, 65, Lawrence, will be Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 10:00 am at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, Lawrence. Burial will be at 12:30 pm at Floral Hills Cemetery, 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City, MO.

Jeffrey Curtis died August 16, 2021, at Medicalodges Eudora.

He was born April 1956, the son of D. Leon and Ardith Curtis. He attended schools in Independence, MO, Cadillac, MI, Helena, MT, and Paris, TN, where he graduated from Henry County High School.

Jeffrey Curtis earned a double degree in Computer Science and Math from Graceland College (now Graceland University) in Lamoni, IA. Later he earned a bachelor’s degree in African and African American Studies from University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Jeffrey Curtis was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force in November 1978.

He was a member of the University Community of Christ Church, Lawrence.

Jeffrey had lifelong passions for learning, sports, and music. He was serious about fairness, order, and accuracy. He loved to tell jokes and often was laughing his way to the punchline. As a child, he loved trains, even walking down by himself as a preschooler to the railroad crossing to watch and wave to the trains as they passed.

Growing up, Jeffrey had a passion for sports and sports statistics. He played youth league baseball as both a shortstop and a catcher. He played football and ran cross-country in high school and in college, including running three marathons in the Drake University Marathon.

Jeffrey had a life-long love of music, particularly Ragtime, especially by composer Scott Joplin. Jeff had played the violin in grade school, but his real love was piano. As part of his graduation completion in college, he presented a concert of Scott Joplin’s music.

Jeffrey refereed basketball, football and volleyball, and umpired baseball, men’s, and women’s softball for the Kansas high school area sports for 21 years. When he was no longer able to do those activities, he kept statistics for the games at Holcomb Parks and Recreation. For his long years of service refereeing and umpiring, the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department recognized him with an award.

Jeffrey was a champion for the rights of people with disabilities and disadvantages. He worked through the Bert Nash Center in Lawrence. He gave a speech upholding the rights of the disadvantaged and wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Lawrence Journal-World on this subject.

He volunteered every year to ring bells for the Salvation Army. Even while in hospital, he was trying to ensure he was on the list to ring the bells this coming season. He was generous in his donations and lived a life of frugality for himself.

Jeffrey Curtis was preceded in death by his father, D. Leon Curtis. He is survived by his mother, Ardith Curtis, two sisters: Rebecca (Kevin) Giles and Lianna (Tim) Corteville; two brothers: Phillip and Randall (Karan); nieces and nephews as well as great-nieces and great-nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to or or University Community of Christ, c/o Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

Messages & Condolences

From Morgan...

While I only met Jeff briefly, his spirit was inspiring. My condolences to Ardith and Jeff’s friends and family.

From Dorothy and Jerry...

So sorry Ardy, our prayers are with you. Sorry I never had the opportunity to know Jeff. Love Dorothy and Jerry

From Karen Troutman, Trinity In-Home Care...

So sorry to learn that Jeff has passed. Ardith…extending sympathy to you. I know he’ll be missed.

From Jeff Mercer...

From his joke telling, talking sports, love of ragtime jazz, and attending sporting events from youth recreation leagues to cheering on the Jayhawks, Chiefs or Royals, Jeff loved being around others. I will miss his efforts to put a smile on the faces of all he met.

From Hillorie Brauch...

You will be deeply missed, Uncle Jeff. You have gained some beautiful angel wings.

From Michael sowter...

Jeff I will always remember you and your jokes and times we shared together as cousins. You will be missed R I P cousin

From Randall Curtis...

I will always remember the times we had together at all those KU football & basketball games, including time going to see the KC Royals & the KC Chiefs. You never let your disability slow you down or ever stop you from accomplishing anything. Rest in Peace, brother.

From John and Donna...

Jeff’s courage and preserverance will be remembered by all. He never stopped giving his all

From Phillip Curtis...

I’ll never forget what we went through growing up. Your strength and determination was incredible. I wish it could have been different and that you had a chance to use your talents and gifts.

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