Vern O. Curtis

Curtis, VernMay 23, 1934 – October 1, 2015

Vern O. Curtis, 81, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away October 1, 2015. He was born on May 23, 1934, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Orvel Ward Curtis and Louise Anna Kunz. He said that marrying Phyllis Karlene Olson on August 23, 1961, in the Idaho Falls Temple was the best decision of his life.

Vern grew up with his three sisters on a farm outside Shelley, Idaho, and attended Stanton Grade School, a two-room country school. At Shelley High School, he was an athlete and was involved in student government. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Central Atlantic States Mission. Following that, he attended Utah State University and the University of Utah where he graduated with high honors. He served four years as an ROTC cadet and eight years in the National Guard.

Vern moved to Los Angeles and worked as an accountant and audit manager for Arthur Young & Company. He and his family then made Huntington Beach their home for over 30 years. From 1968 to 1987, he was an officer of Denny’s Inc. and held many positions including president and CEO. From 1988 to 1992, he was the dean of the School of Business and Economics of Chapman College. He was on many corporate boards, including PIMCO Funds where he served from their inception in 1987 until his retirement in 2014 at the age of 80. He served as president of the Orange County Council of The Boy Scouts of America.

As a devoted member of the church, he served in many callings including bishopric, stake presidencies and regional representative in Southern California. Throughout his life, he was a dedicated home teacher. Missionary work was a lifelong interest and he always took time to support those on missions. From 1992-1995, he served as the president of the Oregon Portland Mission. After his mission, he was called as a sealer in the Portland Oregon Temple and then as a counselor in the temple presidency. After 22 years in Portland, he and Phyllis moved to Washington, Utah.

Vern enjoyed traveling to many countries, especially Great Britain, for work and with his family. He loved meeting and talking to people everywhere he went. He was an avid reader, curious to learn all he could about the world around him. He was a scriptorian, a writer and had a great sense of humor. He especially loved spending time with his family, playing games and going on drives to appreciate beautiful views and explore new places. Vern’s strong and charismatic personality was a source of endless entertainment to his family. His service and generosity will be remembered by many.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; his children, Alison (Mark) Ellsworth, Cathryn (Gordon) Zander, Kristen, Anne (Brock) Reeve, Matthew (Megan) Curtis; his grandchildren, Andrew and Joseph Ellsworth, Christina and Zach Zander; Alyssa, Ben, Luke and Emme Reeve and Chase, Lucy, Ellie and Cole Curtis; and his sister Vera Goodrich and twin sister Verna (Mark) Olsen. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Lois Bean.

Funeral Services

  • Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, at 11 a.m. at the Northbridge Chapel, 1080 N. Arlington Street, Washington.
  • A visitation will be Saturday, 10-10:45 a.m. prior to funeral services.
  • Interment will be at the new addition of the Washington City Cemetery.

Vern, Dad, Grandpa, we love you more than words can express.

Arrangements have been made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454.


Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.