My Brother, My Mentor

   Heaven received another very special angel. My oldest brother Curt passed away from complications due to multiple myeloma on Saturday September 21st, 2019. I would like to share my memories of him in this week’s story.

   If I am being honest, my earliest memories of my big brother would be how hard he worked on the ranch. He also made sure we worked as hard as we were told, and how we needed to finish any job we started. There is no doubt he got his work ethic from our Mom and Dad and made sure the rest of us understood it’s value by leading by example. I remember thinking how unfair all of this hard work was. I realized his example of hard work helped all of the rest of the kids develop the same work ethic. I am so grateful for this, and I’m sure the rest of his siblings would agree.

   Curt put this hard work ethic into his athletic career. He excelled in every sport he played in. One of his biggest achievements happened in his senior year in basketball for Grace High School. He played with Phil Johnson and they were coached by Dick Motta when they won the state championship. In case you are not familiar with those names, Phil Johnson was the head coach for the Sacramento Kings and assistant coach for Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz. Dick Motta had a successful career as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. I mention that mainly because as a native of Grace Idaho, it is our sworn duty to name drop both of them whenever we get a chance. Curt also excelled in football and earned a full scholarship to Weber State College. I remember getting to watch him play and how proud it made me to be able to say, “That’s my big brother out there!”

   Curt earned his chemical engineering degree and had a very successful career in the oil and gas industry. I always admired how his hard work lead to his success and remember being able to talk to him about my job. He would let me tell him about some of the issues I was dealing with and would respond with great advice. One time I was telling him about a corporate manager in the company. This guy had no idea what he was doing, and the only thing he was good at was making sure everyone knew he was in charge and we had to do what he told us. Curt told me to make sure I was the best at my job and use his example to be a better manager. Then he told me something I will never forgot. “There’s no better teacher than a poor manager or boss,” he said.

   With all his success in athletics and his career, Curt would be the first one tell you his best accomplishment if life would be his marriage to his wife Pam and their family. They enjoyed many activities and holidays together. They were the excellent example of the power and love of a strong family bond. Curt was surrounded by his family and loved ones in his final hours before he left for his next chapter. That helped me remember the love and support I have always received from my family and friends. There is nothing more powerful than this.

   I want to thank my big brother for everything he taught me and for being such a great role model. I want to try my best to be the kind of man he was and make him proud of me. At times like this, it is hard to find the words to comfort Curt’s family. The only thing I can promise them is that Curt will still be there to provide the love, strength, and guidance he always has. I am keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for reading.