Hilma Lee Curlee, 96, died peacefully on Monday, March 9, 2020 at home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a period of declining health. She was preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, Colonel Robert B. Curlee, her daughter Loveta Dean, her son-in-law Clayton Larry Dean, and her grandson, Kelly Christopher Kelley all of Elkins.
Hilma was born August 11, 1923 in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Lee Roy and Beulah Fernstrom who also preceded her in death. She is survived by five of her six children, Robert Curlee II and wife Carrie Curlee of Los Altos, California, Jennifer Curlee of Palm Springs, California, Steven Curlee and wife Kathy of Roswell, Georgia, Phillip Curlee and wife Stefanie of Elkins, Arkansas, and Christopher Curlee of Springdale, Arkansas. In addition, she is survived by 12 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and loving in-laws, nieces, nephews and long-time friends.
Hilma led a very eventful life serving as President of the Officers’ Wives Club, teaching several Ladies and Children’s Bible classes, attending a Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, France, seeing the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium, touring the tulip fields in Holland, living in Versailles, France near the palace and eventually raising and showing Tennessee Walking horses with her husband in Elkins, Arkansas. She was a resident in Elkins for over 50 years and was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ. She volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, winning an award for most volunteer hours. She was very active in the Whistle Stop Senior Center in Durham, which provided meals for shut-ins. She worked for the Census Bureau in 2010 for 2 years going door to door. Hilma supported her husband in all his endeavors and was the kind of mother to her children everyone wishes to have. She led by example and her children and friends will miss her love and guidance very much.
A visitation will be 6:00-8:00 P.M. on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Heritage Funeral Home, 1591 S 48th Street in Springdale, Arkansas. Burial and graveside memorial will be at the Shumate Cemetery, Durham, Arkansas, at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Contributions to Habitat for Humanity would be greatly appreciated.
Rest in Peace Mother.