Dave Curtis - 1963
BIO & Picture from 40th Reunion
BIO update December 23, 2011 and Pictures
Kewpie of the Month, May/June 2006

Dave's answers to Charley's Questionnaire

David Curtis - 2002-04-28

Have been Park & Recreation Director in Warrensburg, MO for past 25 years.  It is the field I majored in at Mizzou.  Son and I still attend all MU football and basketball games.  For more interesting reading go to wife Barbara (Duggar) class of 65.
Barbara Duggar (Class of 1965) - Barbara married David Curtis, Kewpie class of 63, in 1966.  They have 3 children and live in Warrensburg, MO.  She is now The Rev. Curtis.  She pastors two rural United Methodist Churches, Drakes Chapel and Calhoun UMC.  Barbara is a licensed sky diver, gardener, and public speaker.  In 2001 she spent several weeks in the Wilderness of Zinn, camping with Bedouins and riding her camel.  In 2000, she backpacked to the top of Camel's Hump, Vermont and spent a week hiking the Long Trail.  In 1999, Barbara put the rear wheels of her bicycle in the Chespeake Bay at Yorktown, VA and headed west.  David flew to Oregon two months later and picked her up at Florence, OR where she was putting the front wheels of her bike in the Pacific Ocean.  She rode 4318.6 miles, crossed the continental divide 9 times and camped out most of the time.  She did it alone.  In 2000, she became a grandmother for the first time as daughter, Elizabeth presented her with Taryn Grace Dwyer.  Elizabeth and James live in Eldon, MO where she teaches at a state school for the developmentaly disabled.  Elizabeth is Barbara's youngest, 28 (as of April 2001).  Son Matthew, 30, is a pharmacist at KU Med Center in Kansas City (still single).  Daughter, Melissa, 33, is Director of Human Resources for Pacific Northern Company in Dallas, TX.  She, too, is single.
Update 2003-10-02  We had two weddings in 2003.  Matt married Leslie Perry, a KU Jayhawk, more avid than he and I are Tiger fans.  They live in Shawnee, Kansas.  Both are pharmicists at KU Med Center.  My oldest, Melissa finally married at age 35 to the guy she started dating when she was a Sophomore at MU 16 years earlier.  She married Steve Jones.  He owns a chain of mental health rehab centers, mainly in Texas.  She is Director of Personnel for Pacific Northern, some Chinese Company that fled Hong Kong before it was returned to Communist China.  They live in Carrollton, Texas.  This winter Barbara leaves in January for her second coast to coast bike ride.  This time she is riding with a friend, Pam Culbertson.  They are taking per mile pledges for Habitat for Humanity.  Goal is to raise $35,000.  Route is from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA.
Another Picture


I'm front right with the dorky hat.  Front left is son Matthew a few months before he met his demise (yes he married a Jayhawk).
Little Girl in the middle is Cara Henre, our God daughter,  That is her Dad Reverend Robert Henre next to her and her Mom
Reverend Abby Henre behind Rob.  Behind me is a college girl from their Church in Kelso, Washington.  Her name is Terza
(can't remember her last name).  Behind her in my wife Reverend Barbara Curtis (Kewpie class of 65).  All those ministers are
Methodist preachers.  Barb now pastors two small churches in Western Johnson County.  Wesley Chapel, Kingsville, MO. and
Woods Chapel, Odessa, MO.  All those preachers know Jim Bryan.  They are in the Union.

My answers to Charley's Questionnaire

1) What is your origin; why, when and how did you wound up in Columbia and where did you come from if you were not born in Columbia?

 I was born in St. Louis and lived there until I was 15 when we moved to Columbia the summer of our sophomore year.  My parents wanted me to go to college and they did not think they could afford to send me to college.  So they moved to a state college town.

2) What did you do immediately after you left high school in 1963 and where did you go if you left Columbia?

Immediately after high school I enrolled at Mizzou that summer on scholarship (which I not only lost in my freshman year, but made grades so poor that today they would throw me out.  I only went on academic probation).

3) Where did you get your education (other than HHS) and what is your profession or how did you acquire your occupation and what was or is it?

I righted the ship enough to stay on at Mizzou.  On Bill Taft’s suggestion, I majored in recreation and graduated in 1967 with my BA.  Later, I returned for an MS in Recreation and Park Administration.

4) Are you still working and if so what are you doing?

I worked in the Park and Recreation field until I retired in 2005.

5) Are you retired and what are you doing or what have you done since you retired?

How long have you been retired?  When I retired in 2005, I was a very obese couch potato.  I decided to change.  First I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail (2175 miles from Georgia to Maine).  I lost a lot of weight.  I fell in love with backpacking and now have done 7500 miles since retirement including the whole KATY (really easy, but it is close), two other National Scenic Trails (Pacific Crest, 2656 miles from Mexico to Canada and the Florida Trail, 1100 miles) and a number of smaller hikes.  My wife is a bicyclist and was never a fat lazy couch potato.  She had twice biked coast to coast.  I have now done rides with her of 500, 900, 1100, 1150 and 4150 miles.  If all goes well, by the 50th reunion I will have another 1000 miles biked and/or another 500 miles hiked.

6) Are you married? Who are you married to? Who are you divorced from? How did you meet your spouse or partner; where and when? How long have you been married? Or how many times have you been married and/or divorced?

I didn’t even date until my senior year at Hickman.  Dated several Kewpies, but married Barbara Duggar who was a sophomore to my senior.  We married August 13, 1966.  If we make it to the 50th class reunion, it will be 47 years.

7) How many children do you have? When was your first child born? When was your last child born? How many grandchildren do you have and when was the oldest and the youngest one born?

Several of these questions are answered in the prior bios.  We have 3 children.  Melissa was born January 14 (her mother’s birthday), 1968.  The next two were adopted with Elizabeth being born November 9, 1972.  We have 4 grandchildren.  Taryn was born on Groundhogs Day of 2000.  Jacy was born in Dallas, Texas at the moment of kickoff for the Cotton Bowl, New Years Day, 2008 as I was watching Mizzou stomp Arkansas on the 40 yard line.

8) What countries have you spent time in other than on business? What countries have you lived in outside the US?

I spent time in what was then South Vietnam.  We have hiked and biked in Canada several times.  I spent two months in Japan when I was in the army.  One month in an army hospital and one month sightseeing on your tax dollars.

9) What's on your 'Bucket List' and what have you done and haven't done so far

 Wow, my bucket list is about 50 or more items.  The items done are the Appalachian Trail, the Florida Trail, the Katy (also on bike), and the Pacific Crest Trail all hiked.  I have also biked coast to coast from Anacortes, WA to Freeport, Maine.  The major undone items are hikes:  across England, across Scotland, El Camino de Santiago, John Muir Trail, Ozark Trail, Long Trail, Potomac Heritage Trail (with my oldest grandson), Arizona Trail, New England Trail and the Continental Divide Trail.  Also bike with BJ as she completes biking across all 50 states and a coast-to-coast bike ride across Canada.

10) Are you a veteran and if so where and when did you serve our country?

I sold my soul to the US Army by doing 4 years of ROTC (for the money) so we could get married the summer before my senior year at Mizzou.  Stateside I spent time at Fort Sill, Oklahoma (where our oldest was born) and ended at Fort Leonard Wood (where I was arrested on my final day in service).  Overseas, I was in Vietnam plus hospital time in Japan.

11) What is the best memory you have from Hickman High School? What is your worst memory from HHS?

Best is hard.  There are several.  Basketball comeback against Jeff City our junior year plus state championship games; Sunday afternoon tackle football games at Rollins Field against the class ahead of us; run and dunk basketball at Parkade School; getting a pass to sell ads for the P & G (we never did, but went downtown and shot pool at either Booches or Paramount); street football in Parkade and nickel root beer bets with Bill Taft on obscure college football games were all good memories.  Even the worst is good as I look back on it.  I was really scared my first day as I had just moved from a school district I had been in all my life with all my friends left behind.

12) What was your favorite place to go after school or on weekends in Columbia when attending Hickman?

Either pool parlor.

13) Who was your favorite teacher at Hickman? Who would you like to see the most from the Hickman faculty and why?

Nellie Kitchens was my favorite.  I would like to see Mr. Anderson to apologize for how bad we behaved.  Carl Scott, Bill Taft and I got thrown out of class one day and we were the “good guys.”

14) What person from our class have you stayed in closest contact with since you left Hickman other than your wife or husband?

Saw Bill Taft early on as we were both in Parks and Recreation, but that ended when he moved into teaching.  Saw Ron Lumb at professional Park and Recreation conferences and now Charley, but no one really close.

15) Which '63 Kewpies are you in touch with?

Please give me their name and their email, address and phone number?  Charley.  You all know this.

16) Tell me something that you have told one of your children or grandchildren that was something you learned or did at Hickman?

We taught them all the song, “On Sons of Hickman” and the school cheer.  When our son was about 28 and living in Kansas City, he met a cute girl at work and invited her to a Mizzou basketball game.  As he drove past Hickman, he broke into song and cheer.  She joined him, word for word.  It seems her mother was a Kewpie.  Fate said they would have to marry.  Because I knew 3 close friends who were Kewpies from the 50’s would be at the wedding plus Leslie’s Mom, BJ and I, I asked the DJ to interrupt the dance some time and invite the former Kewpies up to sing.  When he made the announcement, a dozen people we didn’t know joined us.  It was so cool.  Kewpies are everywhere.

17) What are the earliest memories you have of places, people or things in Columbia?

Since I moved to Columbia at the start of my sophomore year, you have them above.

18) What was your biggest accomplishment while at Hickman High School and what has been your biggest accomplishment since you graduated from Hickman until now?

My biggest Hickman accomplishment was the journalism business award.  I was co-editor (with Barry Oosthusian) of the P & G, but spent more time on business while Jane Murdock really did the most work.  She rightfully got the editorial award.

19) What do you think classmates will remember the most about you when they see you at the 50th reunion?

Nerd and/or lucky pool shooter.

20) Did any teacher from Hickman High School have an effect on your life and how?

They all did from typing to history to math to English.  Mr. Roberts taught me more writing techniques that I used on my jobs.



Update - December 23, 2011

After graduation, I immediately enrolled at Mizzou.  Majored in Recreation on advice from Bill Taft.  After junior year, married Barbara Duggar, Kewpie ’65.  Did 4 years of ROTC and upon graduation in ’67 was commissioned a 2LT in US Army.  Did slightly over 2 years active duty with a tour in Vietnam as an artillery forward observer.  Finished up at Fort Leonard Wood as a Basic Training Company Commander with a final rank of Captain.  BJ and I had a little girl, Melissa while at Ft. Sill, OK. 


Returned to Mizzou for graduate school in 1969.  Got a Masters in Recreation and Park Administration and we adopted our son Matthew.  We took a job as Lebanon, MO’s first ever Park and Recreation Director in 1971.  Adopted our daughter, Elizabeth while there.  In 1974, we moved to St. Louis County Parks and Recreation.


In 1977, we moved to Warrensburg, MO where I became their first Park and Recreation Director.  While there, we had a number of foster children, two long term, and raised our three.  I became extremely active in the Missouri Park and Recreation Association.  BJ eventually got her BS at Central Missouri and later returned to graduate school at St. Paul’s School of Theology in KC.  She became a United Methodist pastor.  We both retired in 2005.  She was still the active energetic woman that had at that time twice ridden her bicycle from coast to coast in the U.S., become a certified skydiver, and ridden a camel across the Wilderness of Zin camping out with Bedouin’s.  I had become a very obese lazy couch potato.  Since then I have changed, I have backpacked two National Scenic Hiking Trails, The Appalachian Trail (2100 miles) and the Florida Trail (1100 miles) and the KATY Trail (238 miles) all as through hikes (means in one year end to end).  I now have about 6500 miles backpacked since 2006.   Additionally, I have taken up bicycling with BJ and have one ride of the whole KATY, one yoyo of the KATY, one ride of San Diego to El Paso, one ride of the Maritime Provinces of Canada, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and ride from Anacortes, WA to Freeport, ME.  We are blessed with good health and plan more big hikes and bike rides in our future.


Those three children are now all married and have given us four awesome grandchildren who live in Kansas, North Carolina and Columbia, MO.


Along the way, I took up sports officiating for fun and extra money.  I did high school, volleyball (very poorly) and basketball (mediocre); college basketball (barely acceptable) and softball (pretty good).  I also did lots of ASA softball (pretty good), youth baseball and softball.  I also did US Swimming, first a stroke and turn judge, then a starter and finally, a referee.  Highest level of that was to do a Masters Zone Championship (7 Midwestern states).  I became a wrestling pairings official and have worked many youth district and regional tournaments as Pairings Master.  I have done one state youth championship, several national championships, one Olympic Trials and one World Championship.  I still work as Pairings Master for all of The University of Central Missouri’s tournaments.  These I do for fun.

Front tire in Puget Sound

Tires in Atlantic

Atop Mt. Whitney

Black eye closer

Loving fixin' a flat 

High Sierras

Hospitality on the trail

Leaning over sign at Katahdin, north end of Appalachian Trail 

Niagra Falls

In 100 mile wilderness

Canada border

Sometimes you fall

Stopped for a view


Baxter State Park, Maine



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