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Curtis Russell Karr

April 14, 1954 September 29, 2019
Curtis Russell Karr
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Obituary for Curtis Russell Karr

St. Albans – Last week, Curtis R. Karr, a kind and gentle man who longed for purpose, while alone in his apartment, unexpectedly died.

Curtis (Courteous) was born in Montpelier, VT on April 14, 1954, the son of Prentiss and Charlotte (Miller) Karr. As the story goes, Curtis received his name because he was so courteous as to allow his elder twin brother to be the first one down the birth canal. That generosity, empathy and appreciation of his fellow man was to be a constant throughout his life.

He turned 65 years old on April 14 and, in his final year of life battled a crippling myelopathy in his spine which led to two surgeries, long hospital, rehabilitation and nursing home stays. Although he worked hard on his physical recovery the chances of him returning to work and driving were dim and to ambulate, he depended on a walker. That did not keep him from getting where he needed to be! He was a frequent traveler on Route 104 and Fairfax Street and was greatly appreciative of the many kind people who offered rides up the hill, particularly in hot weather.

Elementary school, middle school and high school were attended by Curtis in Montpelier. Undiagnosed in his early years, Curtis had a hearing impediment that plagued his nascent school years. Yet persevere he did and with dogged determination, in puberty, he began to transform his child’s high utterances into a raspy, machismo-steeped, Aldo Ray voice that both intimidated and slightly obfuscated his mispronounced words. He was able to complete high school and graduate in 1992 Summa Cum Laude from Johnson State College with a BS in Psychology and later with high honors from the University of Vermont with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology.

After high school, like so many of his age, Curtis groped for a self-identity. He committed to a year of contemplation and bible study while participating in “The Order of Man”, a seminary of brothers, but at year’s end he remained without direction. Callow, strong and in need of money, he spent his days as a Union carpenter.

More than a decade passed before Curtis devolved to his nadir, sought help, found purpose, and returned to his education. He attained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and replaced his evening visits to bars with hours of exercise. Curtis found work helping others, but even more, for his kith and kin, he generously provided a sympathetic, non-judgmental sounding board, a listener, a support. Surely, Curtis will be greatly missed!

The lifelong challenges of a mental health condition and addiction he endured would forever mold him as the man who strove to fight his own demons and use the knowledge of his personal strife to help others battle theirs. He was much beloved by co-workers, colleagues and patients at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital. Although due to his recent physical challenges he was required to take a leave of absence his name remains on the roster and his locker awaits his return. He was and is held in the highest esteem for his selfless dedication supporting his Team and his mission providing kindness and compassion to folks needing a man who gave so completely of himself in heart and mind.

Curtis leaves behind his loving daughter, Chelsea Allen, whom he was exceptionally proud of and who will greatly miss him, and siblings, twin Chris, Pam and Wendy. He was predeceased by his parents Prentiss and Charlotte Karr.

Curtis spent the majority of his life living in the Barre-Montpelier area until he recently moved to St. Albans to be loved and cared for by his “adopted family”. He will be dearly missed by Thomas, Michelle and Caleb Cramer, Craig, Nancy, Cassandra and Stefan Volatile-Wood, Linda Cramer, his “Everything” of 20 years and rescue dogs Little Girl Lilly and Nicky. The list would not be complete without adding his dearest lifelong friend, Randy Hutchins.

Family and friends are invited to gather at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main St. in St. Albans on Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM. At 3:30 PM there will be a formal gathering to share our memories and honor Curtis as a very special person.

Should friends desire, contributions in Curtis’ memory may be made to All Breed Rescue, 491 Industrial Ave., Williston, VT, Turning Point of Franklin County, 182 Lake St., St. Albans, VT 05478 or the Vermont Food Bank, 33 Parker Rd., Barre, VT 05641.

Messages of condolence for Curtis’ family are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com

To plant a tree in memory of Curtis Russell Karr, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

12

Oct

2:00 PM 10/12/2019 2:00:00 PM - 5:00 PM 10/12/2019 5:00:00 PM
Heald Funeral Home

87 S. Main Street
Saint Albans, VT 05478

Heald Funeral Home
87 S. Main Street Saint Albans 05478 VT
United States

A Time of Sharing

Saturday

12

Oct

3:30 PM 10/12/2019 3:30:00 PM
Heald Funeral Home

87 S. Main Street
Saint Albans, VT 05478

Heald Funeral Home
87 S. Main Street Saint Albans 05478 VT
United States

Memorial Contribution

Turning Point of Franklin County

P.O. Box 1187
Saint Albans, VT 05478

Vermont Food Bank

33 Parker Road
Barre, VT 05641

All Breed Rescue

491 Industrial Ave.
Williston, VT 05495
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