Beverly Jean Keeler, born on November 4, 1932, was the youngest surviving child of Dowagiac fire chief, Earl Clayton Keeler, and Hazel Mae Everhart. She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard Curtis; three brothers, Earl Jr., Wilbur, and Lester; two sisters, Zilpha (Rutherford) and Yvonne (Greenman); and infant twin siblings, Donald and Doris.
October 6, 2020, Beverly died at home, in her daughter’s care, voices and touch of many dear visitors still in the air. Beverly, whose husband of 67 years, Howard, passed away earlier this year, is survived by her five children, Stephen & Emilie (Hagerman) Curtis, Michael & Denise (Brinker) Curtis, Jeffery and Jane (Parmeter) Curtis, Andrea Curtis Rothney, and David & Andrea (Gerlach) Curtis; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grands; in-laws, Kelly Roberts, Ric Rothney, and Cindy Moore Rahn; and beloved nieces and nephews.
Beverly graduated from Dowagiac Union High School in 1951 and was recruited, via high test scores, to service with the FBI. When her mother died, she abandoned this dream, choosing to stay near her widowed father; Bev worked in Dowagiac as a telephone operator. January 24, 1953, she married Howard Marion Curtis. They loved dancing together, time with family and friends, and raising their children to be thoughtful, capable, and independent.
Bev and Howard raised five children while moving frequently across Wisconsin and Michigan for Howard’s career. They left dear GTE friends behind in Muskegon, Imlay City and Adrian. Once the kids were all in school, Bev worked for the General Telephone Co. Credit Union, earned an Associate degree and certificate in accounting (Summa Cum Laude) from Glen Oaks Community College, and had a 20+ year career at First National Bank in Three Rivers, including several years as an effective and well-liked branch manager. She and Howard loved traveling all over the US, including to Alaska and Hawaii, to Caribbean beaches and, extensively, in Germany and other European countries. For many years, they wintered at Brittany Estates in Sanford, FL.
To her family, Bev was the quiet, solid core: running a stable and loving home open to all, and facilitating/cheering-on their endeavors. From scouting helper, school room mother, music programs and sports fan, to sewing outfits, hosting parties, and chaperoning trips, Bev could be counted on. Though she could sing well and play piano, and was intellectually and artistically skilled, Bev preferred cheering from the audience. Since 1963, Beverly was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, serving as a deacon and honored with the Presbyterian Women’s Lifetime Member award.
A celebration of the lives of both Beverly and Howard Curtis is scheduled for November 7, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at their Three Rivers home, 330 S. Grant Ave.
Memorials may be directed, via Hohner Funeral Home, to Domestic And Sexual Abuse Services (DASAS) or First Presbyterian Church in Three Rivers.