William ‘Bill’ Sherman Curtis

March 19, 2024


On March 11, 2024, Bill Curtis of Malden and Chatham, Massachusetts, completed his 17 month journey with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Bill was born in Baltimore, Maryland to the late William Harold Curtis and the late Ann Sherman Curtis. Bill liked to say that he was the equivalent of an Army brat because his father, a ceramics engineer, had a penchant for working for companies that went out of business. The family went where the job was. Bill’s siblings were born shortly after him in Syracuse, NY and then the family moved to Youngstown, NY where Bill had a rather idyllic childhood filled with ice skating in the backyard and forts built out of piles of dirt in the summer. He was very involved with his Boy Scout troop and enjoyed all sorts of scouting activities, especially hiking and camping. When he reached high school age, the family moved to Bridgewater Township, NJ. Bill was on the cross country team, where he was co- captain, the swim team and the track team. He also proudly earned his Eagle Scout and served as pack leader of his troop.

As the son of an artist mother (pottery) and engineer father, Bill decided that the blend of the two might be architecture. He tried it out first by studying at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. After two years, he decided that he would indeed pursue a career in architecture and transferred to the University of Kentucky where he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree. At Kentucky, he played ultimate frisbee with a passion and he made several life-long friends.

Bill moved to Boston in 1985. He sought out an ultimate frisbee team and learned about the Boston Barleyhoppers, a running club out of the Bull and Finch Pub (Cheers) whose motto was “We run for fun and roam for foam.” It was at the Barleyhoppers that he met his wife, Joy. He had her heart when he looked at a dent in her car and said “You know, I could fix that.” From that point on, he was dubbed Mr. Fix It. Almost two years after fixing the dent in her car, they married in 1987. From a week before their official first date in 1985, there was never a day, even when they were apart, that they did not speak to each other - over 38 years. They were best friends, who never tired of each other’s company. Joy would say that not only did he fix her car, he fixed her heart.

Bill created beautiful spaces as an architect. His clients loved him because he listened to them and honored their preferences, not his. Contractors also loved him because he understood how things were built, creating plans that were easy for them to follow. He spoke their language.

While Bill’s vocation was architecture, he was really an artist. He created beauty in stained glass, wood working, sculpture and food. He was a self taught chef. Not only did the food taste wonderful, it looked beautiful. His proudest accomplishment was the wood strip kayak that he built. It won two honors at the Mystic Connecticut Wooden Boat Show in 2011 for Best Innovation and second place in the DIY division. It augmented his love of kayaking which he mastered, being a natural athlete, and it supported his ongoing love of nature and the environment.

Bill also loved animals. He and Joy rescued many. While not an official officer, he was critical support to the Massachusetts Union for Siberian Huskies (MUSH, Inc.) which rescues northern breed dogs with medical issues. He was their webmaster, transporter and foster parent since its founding in 2008. He is predeceased by cats: Perdita, Pongo, Frodo and Tigger; dogs: Boz, Tiki, Akki, Ayla, and Kobi; and foster dogs Echo and Baloo. If there is a Rainbow Bridge, Bill was met by a crowd.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife, Joy, his brother Robert Curtis (Laura) of Chapel Hill, NC, his sister Rebecca Curtis of Malden MA and her partner, Jerry Flynn of Medford MA and several aunts, uncles and cousins. He is also survived by many friends, who are family. They supported him during his glioblastoma journey.

The family would like to thank the wonderful aides who cared for him in his final months, Ana, Joyce, Lynn, Filamena and Debbie. They became members of the family. The support of his nurses from the VNA of Cape Cod, especially Roxane and Sue, was greatly appreciated

A celebration of Bill’s life will be private and at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to any of the following charities: MUSH, Inc. (www.mushdogs.org), The National Brain Tumor Society (www.braintumor.org) or the Harwich Conservation Trust (www.harwichconservationtrust.org). For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com