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Deacon Joseph R. Curtis
April 29, 1926 - July 14, 2009

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Click here to read Father Ryan's homily for the Funeral Mass
Click here to read memories of Deacon Joe
Click here to share your own story

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass
On Thursday, July 16, 2009, Father Ryan offered the Funeral Mass for Joseph Curtis, longtime deacon for the Cathedral Parish.  Deacon Curtis died unexpectedly early on Tuesday morning.

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass
At the conclusion of the Funeral Rite, the casket is incensed.

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass
Cathedral servers lead visiting clergy--including many of Deacon Joe's brother deacons--to the hearse.

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass
Grandsons and sons-in-law act as pallbearers.

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass
Tyrone Heade, Cathedral Piper, plays "Amazing Grace" as the casket is placed in the hearse.

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass
Thank you, Deacon Joe.  We will miss you!

Deacon Joe Curtis | Funeral Mass
Here are some memories of Deacon Joe

  • My condolences to Deacon Curtis' family.

    I respected Joe's passion for being with and serving the homeless. He spoke so often about how this deepened his spiritual life. His year's of commitment to the poor testify to his passion. Joe was a great inspiration, a beacon of light to follow, when I entered Emmaus Companion Ministry at St. James Cathedral, also serving the poor and homeless.

    Peace to you all, Ann O. Jackson

  • I worked with Joe for several years with Operation Nightwatch, and always looked forward to his thoughtful, relevant, and often very touching sermons. When I moved to San Francisco almost nine years ago, he told me, "You can't do much better for a patron saint. You'll be fine there." He was a wonderful, passionate and compassionate man and I am so sad to hear of his passing. I continue to miss Joe and the amazing community at St. James very much.

    Christina Gimlin

  • I remember one time our family ran into Deacon Curtis at breakfast after Mass. All throughout our meal, I worked on pouring a cup of courage to go over to his table and talk to him. I was a very young adult, and not very confident, awkward, really. You see, Deacon Curtis' homily that Sunday touched me, and I wanted to let him know. Touching a young adult during a homily is no small feat, but he had done it that day. So with a cup half full of courage, I went to him. I blurted "I really enjoyed your homily today." To which he replied with a twinkle in his eye "Young lady, I didn't mean for you to enjoy it. I meant to make you think!" Those words inspired me then, and are a loving reminder now. His words challenge me to focus on the Liturgy of the Word and find God's message. I still do 'enjoy' homilies, but I listen intently, yet quietly, so as to truly hear. Thank you, Deacon Curtis for the gift you gave that awkward girl to listen, to hear, and to share the Word.

    Christina Buchholz

  • Deacon Curtis was a blessing to the homeless people of Seattle. We are thankful to God for his life and inspiration at Operation Nightwatch.

    One night before we opened, Joe slipped and fell just outside Nightwatch. He lay with a broken hip, sheltered from the rain by a homeless client who assured him that help was on the way, and everything would be all right. The homeless guy stayed with Joe until the aid car came to the rescue.

    May God grant us all Peace.

    Rev Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

  • When I came back to the Church in the mid 90's, I recall Deacon Joe and Father Ryan being incredibly welcoming, and two huge reasons I feel my faith deepened.

    Over the past two years, it was always a joy to see Deacon Curtis in his seat next to Father Ryan at Mass, and while his appearances became more of a rarity, they also became more cherished by me.

    I always made a point, after receiving Eucharist, to lean down and say a quick greeting to Deacon Joe on my way back to my seat. He would always have a clever quip to say to me, even in that brief moment.

    A few Sundays ago, as I was passing him, I noticed him motioning me over. I leaned down, and with a mischievous look in his eye, he said to me, "I see you're parting your hair on the left now."

    I am bald as a cue-ball!

    Deacon Joe, I will certainly miss you...

    David Buchholz

  • I remember the first time I accompanied Joe on the city streets. Just the two of us. It was early evening in downtown Seattle. Joe pulled up in his yellow Mercedes, parked the car and we started walking. I wasn't sure where we were going or what to expect but Joe was very assured. I remember wondering whether he wasn't concerned about his own safety or mine, when we encountered angry situations; however, he just stood there, in the middle of chaos very quietly, very steady with the grace of God, dispelling the noise by not joining in but standing with the quiet presence of Christ. He taught me a lot about faith. He was my friend and I will miss him.

    Diane Burgess

  •  

 

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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303