Ardith Louise Curtis

Ardith Louise Curtis devoted her life to helping others. Always the giver, rarely the taker, she sought no reward for assuming family obligations ever since she was a girl in Missouri. Her devotions included caring for her husband Leon in their home as he progressed into late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and for her son Jeffrey, who died of Parkinson’s-related causes. 

Ardith also worked as a licensed practical nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Kansas from 1989-2006. She died Sept. 26, 2022, at the hospital where she had dedicated many years to assisting patients. She was 91. 

To her grandchildren, she always had the best advice, never forgot a birthday, loved to play card games, and complimented their achievements. They looked forward to her gentle smile and warm hugs. She freely encouraged everyone around her to do their best, listened to all points of view without passing judgment, and was known for her kind demeanor. She was an avid reader of mystery novels, expertly reconciled financial and legal arrangements in her family and church, wrote well, lived independently, and managed her own affairs until her death. 

Her faith was a guiding light since she was young. In later years she became an Elder in the Community of Christ church. She also played the organ at Sunday services. 

Ardith was born July 27, 1931, in Mountain Grove, Mo., to Harold and Stella M. Jothen Reynolds. Being the oldest child, she helped raise her siblings. She married D. Leon Curtis in 1950 in Independence, Mo. He preceded her in death in 2016 in Lawrence, as did her son Jeffrey, who died in 2021, and her sister, Eleanor Sowter of Leavenworth, Kan. 

Survivors include two daughters, Rebecca (Kevin) Giles of Stillwater, Minn., and Lianna (Tim) Corteville of Chesterfield, Mo.; sons Randy (Karan) and Phil of Lawrence; two brothers, Dale (Kaye) Reynolds of Independence, Mo., and Roger Reynolds of Kansas City; a brother in law, Charles Sowter of Leavenworth; five grandchildren, Heather (Jim) Peacock of Columbia Falls, Mont., Harmony (Jim) MacDonald of Waverly, Neb., Hillorie (Dwayne) Giles-Brauch of Cottage Grove, Minn., and Erin Corteville and Austin Corteville of Chesterfield. She also has eight great-grandchildren: Haylie, Kazin, Kimberly, Tyler, Seanna, Liam, Kyleigh and Kayde. 

Services will be held Nov. 19, 2022, at 1 p.m. at University Community of Christ Church, 1900 University Drive, in Lawrence. Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home is handling arrangements. 

In lieu of flowers, Ardith requested that donations be made to University Community of Christ, Lawrence, or Graceland University DeBarth Scholarship Fund, or to the donor’s choice.