Keith P. Curtis

Published 8:32 pm Saturday, January 7, 2017

Commander Keith P. Curtis, United States Navy (retired), passed away Dec. 28, 2016, at age 69 of a brain tumor (glioblastoma) at Agrace HospiceCare, Madison, Wis.

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Ill., he graduated from the University of Illinois in 1970 before receiving his commission through the NROTC scholarship program.

For the next 20 years he served his country aboard the “Big Grey Ships” he loved so well: the USS Jouett (DLG-29) as Combat Information Center Officer; with his band of brothers aboard the USS Parsons (DDG-33) as Operations Officer; the USS Horne (CG-3) as Engineer Officer; the USS Kirk (FF-1087) as Executive Officer; and the USS Richard L. Page (FFG-5) as Commanding Officer.

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A short but sweet assignment in 1976 was as Executive Officer of the Presidential Yacht Sequoia (son Christopher had a diaper change on the bed slept in by Lyndon B. Johnson).

Keith received a Masters of Science in Operations Research in 1980 from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a Naval Analyst.

After retirement from the Navy in 1990, he began work with Potomac Systems Engineering, followed by 20-plus years with the MITRE Corporation, the alphabet soup years, as we called them. He supported a wide range of government agencies alongside the Department of the Navy: JFCOM, DISA, NATO, NMSO, JTASC in Suffolk, ORSA, and JTF.

From what the family was told by his colleagues, he was well known, well liked, and respected for his work ethic, professionalism, and technical expertise. Full retirement came in 2013.

Left to mourn his passing and keep alive his memory is his wife, Ann Reuck Curtis of Monona, Wis. They met at age 17, married at 25, and traveled the world together for 43 adventurous years. They have two children, Christopher Curtis (wife Kristen) of Fribourg, Switzerland, and Alexandra Curtis Hanstein (husband Ray) of San Diego. Keith is also sadly leaving his two grandchildren, Beatrix Curtis and Noah Hanstein. Other family members include two sisters, Kathleen Brennan (husband Tom) of Carlisle, Pa., and Carol Curtis of Jacksonville, Ill. Keith was preceded in death by his parents, Paul S. Curtis and Helen Curtis (nee Conlee) of Jacksonville, Ill.

Keith will be remembered for his wit, sense of humor, intellect, creativity and the desire to leave the world a better place. He enjoyed working on Habitat for Humanity projects and Mission to the World in Senegal and Chile. He was kind and generous and will be greatly missed by his friends and family.

Services will be private with inurnment later this spring in Jacksonville, Ill. Memorial donations can be directed to Agrace HospiceCare ( in Madison, Wis., or to the American Cancer Society (

Online condolences can be made at