Obituary: Lanny Raymond Curtis
December 24, 1946 – August 26, 2022
Lanny Curtis passed away on August 26 at the age of 75. He was born in Washington DC to Bert Lecell Curtis Jr. and Lorraine Curtis, the third child after 2½ year old Harland and 15 months old Jacqueline. This family of five, far from their native home in Long Beach, California, were wintering in a 24-foot Silver Stream trailer along the Potomac River where Bert was finding work as an electrician in post-WWII America. Two years later the family moved back to Long Beach where Vern, the youngest of the four Curtis children, was born.
Lanny graduated from Jordan High School in 1964 with interests in drawing and mechanical design, and learned the electrical trade from his father, Bert Jr., who had learned it from his father, Bert Sr. In 1965 he enlisted in the Air Force, where he did electrical work at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas, and was deployed for one year to Da Nang Air Base in Vietnam where he helped build concrete bunkers for American fighter jets.
Returning to civilian life in 1969, Lanny, along with brothers Harland and Vern, became journeyman level electricians working for Bert Jr, now a licensed electrical contractor. Lanny’s High School friends, however, were adventuring widely. Some became members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band while others, including Barney Moses and John Boggs, were wintering in Aspen for the skiing.
Long Beach could no longer hold Lanny and in 1974 he moved to Aspen, and then in 1976 to Woody Creek where he established Woody Creek Electric, serving Pitkin County through 2014. He became an avid skier, and in 1992, a fireman with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department. For a few winters he also operated the large airport snowplow clearing the runways.
In 1983, Lanny married the love of his life, Jackie Lothian, who lived with him until her passing in 2014. Lanny and Jackie together were instrumental in establishing the Woody Creek Caucus Planning Commission, and over their 31-year marriage were known and loved by many in Aspen and down valley communities. They loved and visited with each other’s families in Long Beach and Chicago. In the years since Jackie’s passing Lanny had a dear friend, Christina Lockwood, who was close to him until his passing. Lanny, with his ever-present broad smile, will be missed.
A Celebration of Life will be held next summer.