Robert Curtis

Obituary of Robert M. Curtis

Robert Miles Curtis ("Bob"), age 96, died on November 20th at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk CT. He cast off his moorings peacefully and in the presence of his three children, who are going to miss him dearly. Born April 9, 1918 in Nova Scotia, he was the son of Claude Curtis and Claire John. After Bob's mother died in the flu epidemic of 1918-19, his Aunt Helen moved in to care for Bob and his sister Margaret. The family moved frequently. He attended elementary school in Fall River, MA, and began high school in Olympia, WA, where he fell in love with sailing. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and Williams College. Bob played trumpet with the Purple Knights, a Williams College jazz ensemble, and in 1938 they were hired to play on the "Normandie" as the ocean liner made its 100th crossing of the Atlantic. Bob participated in an experimental 5-year cooperative program that resulted in both a bachelor's from Williams (class of '41) and a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT (class of '42). Due to the US entry into WWII, Bob graduated from MIT early and entered the Navy, where he began his career as an aeronautical engineer. While stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, he met and married Eleanor (Benno) Johnson. He then began work at Piaseki Helicopters and started a family. A few years later, he went to work for Igor Sikorsky at Sikorsky Aircraft, and moved to Westport, where he lived for the rest of his life. The move to Connecticut allowed Bob to rekindle his love of sailing. He joined Cedar Point Yacht Club, which became an important part of his life. Bob and Benno were instrumental in executing the move from Cedar Point (Longshore) to Bluff Point (the current location of CPYC). Bob's expertise in offshore navigation made him a much-sought after crewman on sailing yachts, for races to Bermuda and Nova Scotia, as well as for cruises in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. At times he sailed his own boat, at other times he crewed on small frostbiting boats. Most recently he served on the CPYC Committee Boat, handling and hoisting the race flags. Bob was a lifetime member of the Saugatuck River Power Squadron. He earned every educational achievement they offered and went on to teach many of the classes. Bob served as SRPS Commander in the late sixties, and the Power Squadron always remained an important part of his life. Bob Curtis was a member of the Y's Men, and even after their hikes and other activities became too challenging, he enjoyed going to their weekly talks and luncheons. In recent years, he most especially enjoyed his association with the "High Tide Club", an informal but dedicated group of beach-goers who, weather permitting, go swimming in Long Island Sound every day at high tide. Bob was predeceased by his wife Benno in 1990, and also in 2012 by Kaye McIntosh, his companion of more than 20 years. He is survived by his children Robert, John, and Claire, and by his grandchildren Alexander, Charlotte, Heather, and Leanne. He is also mourned by Kaye's daughter Jen and granddaughter Hannah, and by numerous nephews and nieces. A memorial service for Bob will be held in the spring. Arrangements are under the care of Nutmeg State Cremation Society. Read Robert Curtis's Obituary and Guestbook.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Robert
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Nutmeg State Cremation Society
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