Dennis Curtin

Dennis (Denny/Gramps) James Curtin died March 8, 2024. In accordance with one of his final requests, a celebration of Denny’s life will be held at Curtin’s Arena Saturday, April 6, from 2-6 p.m. Friends and family are invited to join in honoring and celebrating his life as he lived it, with food, music, and drinks. (Due to liability issues of the celebration being held at a business, we are unable to serve alcoholic beverages, but you are more than welcome to bring your own.)

He was born May 22, 1947, in Waukon, the son of Joseph and Eleanor (Casey) Curtin. He was raised and resided in Waukon. Survivors include his wife, Vickie; his children: Shannon (Joe) Breitenstein of Decorah, Rachel Curtin (Kyle Halverson) of Waukon, Stacy Hamm (Chad Olson) of Rossville, Jason Curtin of Tiffin, and Joe (Shanea) Curtin of Waukon; his stepsons, Ben Kruse and Adam (Ashley) Kruse; 15 grandchildren: Tyler (Amber) Baker, Justin (Julia) Baker, Jennifer Hamm, Bryan (Madison) Hamm, Nick Hamm, Brenden Curtin, Deanna Damiano (Brody Lawson), Derinda Damiano, Kasi Curtin (Ross Berger), Jacob Curtin, Joseph Curtin, Kane Curtin, Kole Curtin, and Liam and Levi Kruse; along with six great-grandchildren; his siblings, Mary Curtin and Reg (Cindy) Curtin; his sister in-law, Kate Curtin; and his “adopted” son, Matt (Becky) Koch. He was a special uncle to many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Patrick.

Denny’s family is very thankful for Dr. Schwartz, who was with him throughout numerous health issues and who earned Denny’s absolute trust, and the staff at St. Croix Hospice for their care, support, and guidance.

Throughout his life, Denny demonstrated compassion and generosity. He was not known to worry but to generally assume things would always work out, expressing this positive outlook and attitude to others as well.

Gramps will be remembered by many of us for his greeting with a big smile, generous hug, and lively ”Howdy!” or “Hello Darlin’!” He made it a point to express his love openly, ensuring that everyone around him knew how much they meant to him, especially his children and grandchildren.

His love and pride of his horses and mules was well known and he found joy in trail riding with family and friends. He enjoyed his excavating business, driving truck, and opening Curtin’s Arena with Joe, where many rodeos and get-togethers were enjoyed and frequently only partially remembered.

Denny was immensely proud of his Irish heritage and visited his ancestral home with family members, where he readily made even more friends. He loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and participating in the parade (where he will be honored this year).

Denny demonstrated a strong determination and resilience, surviving two types of cancer, and met Alzheimer’s Disease with tenacity and grace. Denny conscientiously stepped away from public gatherings in recent years, expressing his concern that he might forget names and how this may impact others. He expressed particular concern of this happening with his family, but it never did. The love and fun he shared with Vickie was reflected in her dedicated care for him.

Denny was known for his long good-byes (especially for those waiting to leave with him), always ensuring he spoke with nearly everyone before departing a gathering. In the end, he chose a polite form of an Irish goodbye, departing quickly and quietly on his own terms, a final gesture of kindness to those surrounding him with love as he passed.