CURTIS II, Wilfred A. CD

 


LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILFRED A. CURTIS II, CD August 30, 1928 - January 19, 2015 Son of Air Marshall Wilfred Austin Curtis and Pearl Burford, concert pianist. Brother of Glenn H. Curtis and the late Rhonna Curtis. Married to the late Manon Fauteux, mother of their six children - Wilfred III, Gerald, Michelle, Charles, Danielle and Patrick. Grandfather of nine and great-grandfather of five. He enjoyed 10 wonderful years with Manon prior to the marriage ending in divorce, after which he raised the family as a single parent. 


Educated at Trinity College School and Royal Roads Military College. 

He was an airman from 1947-1957 and again from 1977-1979. He commanded the 400 City of Toronto Fighter Squadron from 1955-1957 as a Squadron Leader. He had about 250 airmen under his command. He was proud that no one was killed in an air accident while he was Commanding Officer. The Squadron flew Vampire fighters and F-86 Sabre Jet fighter planes during his tour. He loved being a fighter pilot and clocked over 1,100 hours flying his favourite airplane, the Vampire. 

He believed the 400 Squadron's 50-member Pipe Band was, and remains, the best in North America. 

He was named Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the 400 Squadron from 1977-1979. He took great pride in the accomplishments of the Squadron during his term. 

For 10 years he was a member of the Board of Governors of the Corps of Commissionaires, whose mission is to help ex-service people find employment after they retired from the military.
 
He operated the family insurance brokerage for 40 years, acquiring 10 additional insurance brokerages during that time. He was well regarded in the industry and known for his honesty and integrity. 

Retiring at age 60, he moved permanently to his cottage on Kahshe Lake in Muskoka, where he took great pleasure from his flower gardens. From early childhood, the cottage was a place of solace and peace for him. 
In his early 60s, he remarried to Gwen Vernon, widow of his best friend Dr. Peter Vernon, who had died many years before. The marriage was not successful, but they remained friends thereafter.
 
In 1995 he was invited to join the Board of Directors at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge, ON. Elected Chairman of the Board in 2000, he led the construction of a $24 million expansion project, which had been planned for 15 years. It was of great benefit to the Muskoka region and he was grateful to be part of the team that made such a meaningful contribution to the community he called his second home. 

He also was a life member of the Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto, where he enjoyed playing bridge regularly in later years. 

Wilf was larger than life. He was a wonderful father, brother and friend, with a great sense of humour and he will be greatly missed. 

Wilf was CO #20 (of 43) and his father was CO#2 (1935 to 38)
The squadron officially became the “City of Toronto” Squadron in Sept. 1935.

Please feel free to leave comments in Wilf's Guest Book.