Chester E. Curtis
Chester E. Curtis
Feb. 20, 1922 - April 6, 2014
Chester E. Curtis, age 92, of Willmar, died Sunday evening, April 6, at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.
Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Assembly Area #4, in Minneapolis. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar.
Chester Ellis Curtis was born February 20, 1922 in Beach, North Dakota to Fremont and Ethel Curtis. The family eventually settled in the Henning/Clitherall area of MN. Chet was in the Civilian Conservation Corps for two years. He then moved to Waukegan, IL where he met, and married, June Homac. They returned to Henning where Chet farmed until enlisting in the Army during World War II.
Chet was a Sergeant with a platoon in the 70th Infantry Division (The Trailblazers). He served in Germany where he earned two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star and the Purple Heart. He was in the Battle of the Bulge. Chet returned home after a mortar sent shrapnel through his head leaving him with only 25% hearing in one ear. His Silver Star was presented for bravery under fire. Chet mounted a hill and, using a machine gun, gave his platoon and another platoon the cover needed to escape an enemy attack.
Chet farmed and then became a Singer Sewing Machine salesman. He repaired sewing machines into his late 80s.
Reading about a new technology, transistors, Chet purchased an Electronics Associates store in Minot, ND in 1958. He then moved to Willmar, MN in 1962 where he owned the Electronics Associates store which eventually became Team Electronics. After his wife, Junes death in 1980, he closed the store and retired.
During his years in Willmar, Chet was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He rose in VFW posts to District Commander.
In 2004, Chet met Juanita Villafranca. They eventually married in 2011.
Chet was known for his humor, his generosity and his love for everyone he met. Behind the scenes, he was a mini-philanthropist. He will be missed by many whose lives he touched.