Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Sr. dies

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 21 2010 11:10 p.m. MST

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Sr., who served as a member of the LDS Church's Second Quorum of the Seventy, died of complications of Parkinson's disease on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at an assisted living center in Cottonwood Heights. He was 86.

Elder Curtis served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 1990 to 1995. He was also President of the Jordan River Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1996 to 1999.

An article about him the Ensign magazine said he did not have the opportunity to serve as a Mormon missionary because of World War II, but his life was full of service to his church — including being the organist for the Sugarhouse Ward when he was only 12 years old. His love of music lasted his whole life and included a stint as the hired organist for the Southeast Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Mo., while he was in dental school.

"He often ... would end his talks by going to the piano or organ and play a hymn as part of his message to the people," said his son Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. — an area authority seventy for the LDS Church.

Elder Curtis Sr. was born in 1924, the youngest of 10 children. He married Patricia Glade on June 1, 1944, in the Salt Lake Temple. They had eight children.

Through the years, he served in the LDS Church in several callings, including branch president, bishop, stake president, regional representative, mission president (Florida Tallahassee mission), patriarch, general authority (Second Quorum of the Seventy) and temple president (Jordan River Temple).

"As I run into people he associated with in the church, he just had a real knack of being their friend. Just person after person that I come across just feel like they are close friends of his because of the way he treated them," his son Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr. said. "He had a real gift for personalizing his service with people."

Professionally, Elder Curtis was a orthodontist and was once president of the Salt Lake District Dental Society. He had obtained, in part, his dental schooling through the Army. After graduating, he served as a lieutenant in the Navy.

Elder Curtis is survived by his wife, Patricia, eight children, 36 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren.

"This is a somber, sobering time for (the family)," his son Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr. said, "But we just count it as a blessing to have him as our dad."

Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 27, 2010, at 11 a.m. at the Salt Lake Holladay North Stake Center, 4395 S. Albright Drive, Holladay, Utah.

e-mail: mdegroote@desnews.com

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