Cover photo for Margaret Marie Curtis's Obituary
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1922 Margaret 2009

Margaret Marie Curtis

February 8, 1922 — May 11, 2009

Margaret Marie Ray was born on February 8, 1922 in Fort Smith Arkansas to Jones Andrew Ray and Neoma Morris Smith. She was their sixth and final child. Margaret s father was a railroad man and her mom was kept busy with home and children. Life in Arkansas for the family was difficult as one can imagine for a family of eight on a railroad wage. In the late 1920s the family relocated to Phoenix Az. where they began a new life. Like everyone else the Ray family endured Phoenix summers without benefit of air conditioning, water coolers, or even a refrigerator. It is believed that for a time the family was housed in a large tent. Not long after their arrival in Phoenix the nation became mired in the great depression making life even more difficult. Try to imagine living under such conditions. Most of us have no frame of reference to be enable us to understand how it might have been. Margaret was barely ten years of age when the family lost their father to a massive heart attack. The older siblings stepped up to provide for the family while mom decided how to best proceed for her family s benefit. The decision was made to relocate to the Southern Ca. community of San Gabriel. Neoma Ray secured employment in Los Angeles with Schwabecker Frye & Co. Bookbinders to keep her family together. By this time the older siblings were beginning to Marry and start families of their own. When world war two was visited upon us Margaret was nineteen years of age and as she saw many of her friends both male and female either enter military service as her brothers did or serve by working at defense related industries which she opted for by taking a job with a company involved in production of necessary materials to sustain our nation at war. In 1944 she met and was courted by a co-worker Orlin R. Curtis. He was a divorced man with three children. A daughter Marcie age 11, a son Danny age 8 and a son Barry age 4. No doubt a daunting challenge for a 23 year old young lady to contemplate. Margaret was extremely close with her mom and had never lived away from her. In October of 1945 she and Orlin were joined in marriage and she began her new life as a wife and stepmom to three kids. Margaret and Orlin remained in matrimony for 55 years until his death in April of 2000. During all of these years Margaret never wavered in her dedication to her marriage vows and loyalty to her husband. She always put a delicious hot meal on the table, kept a spotless home and attended to countless mini crisis which always popped up when least expected. Margaret and Orlin were active socially with many friends and really enjoyed their bowling leagues which they participated in for a good many years and at which she excelled. Upon Orlin s retirement due to an illness the couple moved to Ashland Oregon where they raised a small number of Angus cattle on a ten acre parcel. Margaret s mom by this time was in failing health and had lost her eyesight. Margaret and Orlin took her to their home in Oregon where Margaret tended her mom;s needs with her husband s help and a part time in home caregiver. After the passing of her mom and twenty years in Oregon Orlin and Margaret returned to So. Ca. in 1987 where they lived in Temecula for the remainder of their lives. During the latter portion of her life Margaret was saddened five more times with the loss of all five of her siblings. The first being her eldest sister Mary Mae, followed by brothers Arthur and Andrew and sisters Jessie and Jimmie. Margaret has struggled with health issues for quite a few years and after her husbands passing her health continued to decline. She endured terrible suffering over the past five years and is truly blessed by this final event of her life. She is survived by stepsons Dan Curtis of Ashland Or, Barry Curtis of Bishop, Ca, grandchildren Cindy Becker of Madison, Wi, Tod Curtis of Medford, Or, Allison Corron of Des Moines, Ia, Barry Curtis Jr, Westminster, Ca, Bradley Curtis of Ontario, Ca, Paul Curtis of Seattle, Wa, Kacy Curtis of Chicago, Il, numerous greatgrandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews especially her niece Barbara Jane Olson and greatniece Toni Marie Ficke who provided tremendous relief and companionship to Margaret tending to her physical and emotional needs during her final days.

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