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James L. Curtis

Published On: Jun 25 2014 08:41:32 AM CDT

MADISON–James L. Curtis, age 91, died at his daughter’s home on the morning of Monday, June 23, 2014.

He was born in Viroqua, Wis., on Oct. 26, 1922, the son of the late Carl Curtis and Ora Abbott Curtis. James was raised by his maternal grandparents, Leroy and Althea (Sewell) Abbott, in Wilton, Wis. He graduated from Wilton High School in 1939 and attended LaCrosse State Teachers College and Haverford College in Pennsylvania before graduating from medical school at George Washington University in 1949. Jim completed his residency in ophthalmology at Tulane University in New Orleans in 1952. He then served as a physician in the Air Force, earning membership in the Society of USAF Flight Surgeons and was inducted as a member of the Space Medicine Branch of the Aerospace Medical Association, providing ophthalmologic services for the astronauts until he retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1965. Jim then continued his medical career in civilian life as the chief of Ophthalmology at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Penn., until his final retirement in 1987.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Susan J. Curtis and son-in-law, Carl Johnson of Madison; and his granddaughter, Leah Curtis Jeedas of Boston Mass. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Anne Brazelle Curtis; and his sister, Eltha Curtis Briggs.

The family would like to recognize the staff at Agrace HospiceCare and Dr. Douglas Kutz for their compassionate care and advocacy during his final days. He will be fondly remembered for his gentle and gentlemanly demeanor by all whose lives he touched.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Dr.
(608) 221-5420

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