Curtis died of natural causes on July 26, 2016, while living in Seattle. He was born in Warrenburg, Mo., and landed on the island at age nine.
His interest in anything plugged-in started very young, the many trips to thrift stores gave him his own treasures to take apart. His Atari at age 11 started him on the information highway. Curtis’ son Kelley was also interested in computers and they worked on many projects together.
Curtis called himself the “master of outdated computers.” Music was also a passion. He started playing drums in middle school, which led him to his first band, named Stricknine. Then Grumblethorp was formed, which turned into Potbelly.
Curtis was one of “Pete’s Kids,” and worked on and off at The Doghouse while on the Island. He moved off island and received an A.A. in Arts from Greenriver Community College in 2006.
During his last years, he struggled with mental illness. His former band, Potbelly, plans to hold a benefit concert in Curtis’ name to benefit people and families affected by mental illness. Donations may be made to NAMI, The National Alliance for Mental Illness at www.nami-greaterseattle.org
Curtis leaves behind his son, Kelley Jay, father Donald Jay (Marilyn), mother Karen Strawn (Bob) and other family members.
A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. May 20 at South Whidbey Assembly of God Church, 5372 Maxwelton Road, Langley.