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Donald Rex Curtis

Published on -12/20/2012, 9:22 AM

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Donald Rex Curtis passed away on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. He was 86 years old. Rex had been a resident of Hays Good Samaritan Center for the past two years.

Rex was born on March 13, 1926, in Halstead, Kansas. He was the son of Jett and Myrna (Antrim) Curtis. He grew up in Wellington, Kansas, and graduated from Wellington High School in 1944. He and several of his classmates enlisted in the Navy. Rex served as a signalman on a naval freighter in the South Pacific during the last two years of World War II.

After discharge from the Navy, Rex and several of his Wellington friends were recruited to enroll at Fort Hays Kansas State College where he played basketball for Cade Suran, his former high school coach. Rex also ran hurdles on the Fort Hays track team for coach Alex Francis.

It was while in college at Fort Hays that Rex met the love of his life, Marjorie Lebsack. They graduated from college and were married on the same day on May 25, 1950. They moved to St. Francis, Kansas, where Marge taught kindergarten, and Rex taught 8th grade history and coached.

In 1953, Rex and Marge moved back to Hays where Marge taught and Rex joined Marge's brother Wayne Lebsack in the oil business, Lebsack Oil Production Inc. He and Marge remained active with Wayne in the oil business until recently.

Rex was active in Boy Scouts, serving as Scout Master of Troop 101 in Hays while his sons John and Jeff were in Scouting. Rex remained active in athletics as well. He was a high school and small college football and basketball referee for 34 years. He and Marge and the boys spent many happy times at Cedar Bluff Lake camping under the shelters at Page Creek, at their south shore cabin, and on the trusty pontoon boat "The Double J" trolling for walleye.

In later years, Rex and Marge enjoyed traveling with their sons, children and grandchildren to Hawaii, Table Rock & Beaver Lake, Caribbean cruises, Cessna Stadium in Wichita to track meets, recitals and musicals. They enjoyed the Encore Series and sporting and musical events at Fort Hays State University. And they enjoyed quiet times together at their Cedar Bluff cabin. Rex was a member of Hays First United Methodist Church where he and Marge were married. He was a member of the Hays Lions Club where he served as secretary for many years.

Rex was preceded in death by his parents, and by his wife Marjorie who passed away on June 25, 2012.

He is survived by his children, Dr. John Curtis and wife, Laurie, of Manhattan, and Dr. Jeff Curtis and wife, Connie, of Hays. He is survived by his grandchildren Matthew Curtis and wife, Andrea, of Onalaska, WI, Julie Ott and husband, Matthew, of Detroit, MI, Lindsey Curtis of Manhattan, Christian, Cathryn, and Carter Curtis of Hays, and three great-grandchildren Tristen, Tanner, and Ava in Onalaska. Rex's sister, Colletta Dawson, also survives in Wellington.

Funeral services will be on Saturday, December 22nd at 10 a.m. at Hays First United Methodist Church. Visitation will be 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, December 21 at Hays Memorial Chapel, 20th and Pine in Hays. Interment will be in the Fort Hays Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Hays.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Hays Boy Scout Troop 101 and Hays Lions Club in care of Hays Memorial Chapel. Condolences to the family at www.haysmemorial.com.

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