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Earl Curtis Arnett

Posted 2024-05-29 by Sharla
David's Desert Chapel Funeral Home
Wickenburg, AZ

Earl Curtis Arnett
December 12, 1932 ~ May 18, 2024 (age 91)

Long-time Wickenburg resident Earl Curtis Arnett died Saturday, May 18, 2024, in his sleep at home.

Known as Curtis throughout his life, he was born in Bay City, Mich., on Dec. 12, 1932, to parents Earl DeZell Arnett and Emma Malve (Stein) Arnett.

Curtis and Malve moved to Wickenburg in 1947, joining Curtis’ uncle and aunt, Ewald and Alvina Stein, the proprietors of the Wickenburg Theatre. His earliest memories of Wickenburg involved feeling surprised at seeing wooden sidewalks and people dressed in starched, pressed Levis, and feeling profoundly suspicious when he first encountered a taco.

Curtis attended the Wickenburg Unified schools; he was promoted from 8th grade in 1948 and graduated as salutatorian from Wickenburg High School in 1952. A bachelor’s degree in industrial arts from Arizona State College (later University) followed, and Curtis began teaching at Wickenburg High School in 1963 before earning a Master’s in English in the early 1970s.

While attending an ASU graduate seminar in English, Curtis and Carol Elaine Berkshire met, and they subsequently married in 1968. They resided in Wickenburg and raised a son, Dr. Earl Jonathan Arnett, who now teaches, along with his wife, Dr. Laura Alice Palmer, at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

Curtis’s teaching duties over the years included teaching English and mathematics, but he most enjoyed his time working as the district curriculum coordinator and serving a term as acting superintendent. Post-retirement, Curtis also served on the local school board for over 20 years and represented Wickenburg on the Arizona School Boards Association, where he was a member of the policy committee, the federal relations network, and the Friends of ASBA Board.

After retiring from teaching in 1989, Curtis founded Wickenburg Tax Services. The business prepared income tax returns for tax years 1991 through 2021.

Curtis was a member of the First Presbyterian Church since childhood. His civic activities included serving a five-year term as Mayor that spanned the nation’s Bicentennial, and actively supporting the Wickenburg Community Services Corporation, Habitat for Humanity, the Foundation for Senior Adult Living, and the Wickenburg Dark Sky Association. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce in 2016.

See Also: Find a Grave

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