His relaxed, easy manner would make you immediately comfortable
in his presence. Elder LeGrand Raine Curtis was the kind of man who, in
his own words, “would rather wear short-sleeved shirts.” Yet, at the same
time, there was an intensity, an energy about him, especially when
talking about the Church. Then his attitude became anything but casual.
The Church always played a prominent role in
Elder Curtis’s life. Born on 22 May 1924 to Alexander and Genevieve Raine
Curtis, he came into a family in which Church activity was the norm. “Home
night,” family prayer, and weekly church attendance were an intrinsic part
of life in the Curtis home in Salt Lake’s Sugarhouse area. “Everyone went
to church. I simply have never doubted,” he said.
His faith was manifested in a lifetime of steady,
devoted labor in the kingdom. He decided early in life that he would never
turn down a call to serve—that he would do whatever the Lord asked him
to do. His service began as a branch president while he
was in dental school. It continued through years of service as a bishop,
stake president, regional representative (twice), member of the Young Men
General Presidency, and member of the General Melchizedek Priesthood Committee,
later he served as a stake patriarch and as a temple
sealer—two callings he loved because they deal with people and with the
When called to serve as president of the Florida
Tallahassee Mission, Elder Curtis gave up his thriving
orthodontic practice. Later, at age sixty-five, when interviewed by a reporter frpm
the Ensign about his call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, he
said, “I’m leaving it again.” But his smile conveyed more anticipation than
sadness. “I’m extremely humbled by the call. We were in a comfortable rut.”
If there is anything Elder Curtis loves to talk about more
than the gospel and its effect on people, it is his wife, Patricia Glade
Curtis. The two of them became acquainted as students at Irving Junior
High in Salt Lake City. Their friendship
continued through high school and into their freshman year at the University
of Utah, when they had their first date. “We went dancing, and from then
on it was just wonderful,” he says.
World War II prevented Elder Curtis from serving
a mission. He enrolled in dental school, leaving Patricia behind for a
time while he participated in an army program that allowed him to continue
his studies. Finally, on 1 June 1944, the two of them were married in the
Salt Lake Temple, and she traveled with him thereafter. Kansas City, Missouri;
Corpus Christi, Texas; Norfolk, Virginia—wherever they went, they looked
up the Church and served.
When the army discontinued its dental study program,
he was released to continue his studies. In 1946, after graduating from
dental school, he completed his remaining military obligation as a lieutenant
and dentist in the navy.
Home life for the Curtises became an extension of
the home lives they had known as children: teaching their children the
gospel, having home evening and family prayer, supporting one another in
callings they never considered sacrifices but, rather,
blessings. In time, Elder and Sister Curtis were blessed with eight
children: Richard; Glade; LeGrand, Jr. (who
would grow up to become a General Authority in his own right); Candi
(Merrell); Terri (Eldredge); Sydney (Lindsley); Brent; and Rebecca (Timmins).
All were married in the temple, the last two by their father.
When asked what her husband would bring to his new calling as a General Authority
Sister Curtis responded: “He has great enthusiasm for the gospel. He loves
to see people improve their lives and do better. And he has a great eye
Elder Curtis simply said of his new calling, “I am
anxious to make whatever contribution I can.”
Elder Curtis fulfilled his five-year call to serve in
the Second Quorum of the Seventy with distinction and was honorably released
on September 30, 1995.
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, 2010 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.