- Published: 19 December 2014
Chester “Chet” Eugene Curttright, passed on December 11, 2014 at Plaza West Retirement Community in Topeka. He was born to Walter and Minnie Curttright in Dunbar Nebraska, July 27th 1926. He was the 10th of 11 children. His family moved to Nemaha, Nebraska when he was 2 ½ years old. He joined the U.S. Army during WWII, before completing his senior year of high school, but later returned and graduated from Nemaha High School the same year as his younger sister Nellie. He was one of the last of the Mule packers, being trained at Ft. Riley. He was then stationed in the Philippines and Occupied Japan, where he served as a quartermaster sergeant. When he returned from service overseas, he and his older brother Ray opened a small restaurant, Ray’s Café, in Nemaha. He soon after met Colleen (Keithley) and they were married January 30th, 1949 at the Methodist Church in Nemaha. This marked the beginning of Chet’s enduring commitment to his wife which spanned more than 65 years. After residing in a doting and patient father of his two daughters, Tiwana and Dawn. Chet worked at Culligan Soft Water for 35 years, and then joined Lindsay Water Conditioning for another 26 years. He retired in 2010. His work allowed him to interact with people from all walks of life, always finding an opportunity to share a laugh, kind words or even a cup of coffee. He was a 60 year member of First United Methodist Church and he taught the Pre-K and Kindergarten Sunday School for over 20 years, loving every minute of sharing God’s Word with the little ones. He lived his faith and his values on a daily basis, demonstrating that God, family, and friends are what make a person truly wealthy. He possessed a legendary love of sweets and enjoyed pancakes at Cracker Barrel and Colleen’s homemade pies. Never believing it was too late to make new friends, he developed many friendships with the caring staff and his tablemates during his two years at Plaza West Retirement Center. He would enter the dining room waving his hand with a smile as he passed by each table. He never went anywhere without his WWII cap given to him by his grandson, Brent. Chet felt honored to take the Honor Flight for WWII Veterans to Washington D.C. in 2011. He is survived and dearly missed by his wife Colleen; daughters Tiwana (Bruce) Whitten (Topeka) and Dawn (Greg) Taylor (Wichita); grandsons Brent (Rachel) Whitten, Caleb (Kenra) Whitten, Ethan (Rebecca) Whitten, and Jared Whitten; his great-grandson Colter Whitten; his step-grandchildren Brandi Wyer Dustin Wyer, and Nikki Taylor; and his sister Nellie Grooms of Auburn. He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, and six brothers His family celebrated his life with a service in Klasse Chapel at First United Methodist Church, Topeka at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 17. Chester’s wishes were that any memorials may be designated to First United Methodist Church, 600 SW Topeka Blvd. 66603 or The Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, KS. 66675 Condolence cards may be sent to Colleen at 2838 SW Lincolnshire Ct. Topeka Kansas 66614 % Tiwana Whitten.