Layton City Mayor Steve Curtis was eulogized as a person who loved Layton City like no other and who was also a devoted and loving leader, friend, husband, father and grandfather.
In his nearly two-hour-long funeral service December 4 at the Davis Conference Center, approximately 600 people attended.
Mayor Curtis, 58, passed away November 29, 2013.
“You could ask Steve to do anything and he was up to it,” Dave Thomas, Layton City Recreation Supervisor and long-time friend said as the funeral’s first speaker. “He went all out for everything.”
“I know for a fact that there’s not a person, alive or dead, that loved Layton City more,” Thomas stated.
Another friend, Troy Cox, said he was always just “Steve” – the mayor title didn’t change him.
“He was a dreamer,” Stephanie Nelson, Mayor Curtis’ oldest daughter said. “More than that, he was a doer.”
She said her father taught her well that service should be at the center of our lives.
“Of all the titles my Dad held, he was proudest to be called Papa,” she concluded.
“He’s the most loving man I know,” Riley Curtis, his oldest son, said. “My dad loved the City so much. The City was his second home.”
Notwithstanding, he said his father also made plenty of time for family, for church and even in support of Hill Air Force Base.
He also stressed that his father would actually pray for trials, because he knew they would make him stronger.
“He lived a great life,” Austin Curtis, another son, said. “He’s left a legacy for our city and our family.”
Karson Wood, another child, said his father was never afraid of his feelings and “integrity meant the world to him.”
“He lived great and he died great in the eyes of God and his people,” Katie Rae Curtis, another daughter, said.
She also noted that police officers, firefighters and the military were the greatest to her father.
Colonel Kathryn L. Kolbe, Commander of the 75th Air Base Wing at Hill AFB, said Mayor Curtis had a special love for his country and those who serve us.
“To Hill Air Force Base, he was a true friend, a leader and patriot,” she said.
Colonel Kolbe also said he was an optimist, with a bright smile and one who could set aside any personal interests for the greater good.
Alex Jensen, Layton City Manager, characterized Mayor Curtis as a leader who loved to interact with ordinary people.
“He was a man of the people,” Jensen said, stressing that the Mayor had a unique gift to make people feel important.
“He was a kind-hearted and gentle man … he was called home,” Jensen stated.
“He wasn’t a typical politician, but a tremendous mayor.”
Jensen said Mayor Curtis especially loved family recreation events. He also outlined three of Mayor Curtis’ special qualities.
- He had an overwhelming sense of gratitude and was thankful for everything.
- He was a man of integrity and character.
- He had great faith, not only in God, but in average men or women to make a positive difference in the world -- he dreamed big.
“How do we honor the legacy of this greatness?” Jensen asked. “It is to be like him,” he challenged.
Although his children said their father was not a good singer, they said Mayor Curtis loved music and three special musical selections were included in the funeral.
Many at the funeral were dressed in black and red attire, in honor of Mayor Curtis’ favorite color combination.
The Mayor’s casket was placed in Layton’s antique fire engine, instead of a traditional hearse. The honor guard was from Layton City’s Police and Fire Departments.
Mayor Curtis was buried at Lindquist’s Memorial Park, Layton. Antelope Drive was temporarily closed for the long funeral procession. Dozens and dozens of United States flags lined portions of 700 West Street, as well as the south side of Antelope Drive -- all the way to the Memorial Park -- in his honor.
Students at Lincoln Elementary School, on Antelope Drive, braved the cold to stand out along the highway with flags and signs as the funeral procession passed by.
There was also a balloon release at the graveside, with red, black and white balloons.