American Patriotic 10

Irvin Ray Curfman

April 2, 1948 ~ July 18, 2022 (age 74)

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Irvin Ray Curfman, Obituary

written by Sarah Curfman, wife

Irvin Ray Curfman was born in Sunnyside, WA April 2, 1948 and left this life July 18, 2022 while being cared for at the Walla Walla Veterans Home.  The family is grateful for the staff who gave him excellent loving care. Irvin was the oldest of five children born to Lloyd and Dorothy Curfman. The family lived in several places during his childhood: Grandview, Sunnyside, Seattle area and on the Satus where his parents ran Buoyville, a place for teenage boys needing a home and guidance.  And finally he lived in Toppenish where his father ran an auto repair shop.  He spent many hours there learning about cars and life as he listened to his father's conversations with customers. He graduated from Toppenish High School and is best remembered by his classmates for making a full court basket during a game. After High School he worked various jobs, such as at the Del Monte Canning Facility in Toppenish during the corn and pea season.  Perhaps this influenced his lifelong preference for eating canned peas over frozen peas! He worked also as a hospital janitor at the Holy Family hospital in Spokane.  He spent a summer at the Young Life Camp in Malibu, British Columbia running the sports shop.  He also installed sound systems in funeral homes throughout the US for a Spokane based company. He spent time attending Yakima Valley Community College where he continued to play basketball.  He also attended Central WA Bible College in Selah where he met his future wife.  He married Sarah Huffman of Deer Park WA in April of 1975. His 20 year Navy career began in January 1974.  He eventually specialized in repairing the electrical black boxes of the P3 Orion aircraft.  His duty stations included San Diego CA for boot camp, Memphis TN for schooling, then back to San Diego at Miramar Air Station with VF121.  His next station was in Barbers Point, Hawaii with VP17, a P3 Orion squadron. During this time he went with the squadron to the Philippines twice, once for 3 months at the beginning of his tour and 6 months at the end of his tour. He had two instructor duty tours at Moffett Field (Mt. View, CA) teaching the electrical systems he had been working on.  He had a tour in Guam and his final station was in Misawa, Japan before retiring from the Navy in Sept 1994.  He enjoyed the structure of the Navy, most of his assignments and the opportunity for us to explore other countries. And he was pleased with the fact that even though he was in the Navy we were separated from each other for only brief times.  After returning to the Yakima Valley, he worked for Sun Steel teaching welding and later drove school bus for Grandview School District.  He retired for the 2nd time in 2006.  Soon after this he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.  He functioned well for about 10 years, then gradually required more assistance.  As time went on he also developed Parkinson's dementia. His lifelong interests included being at home or traveling as long as we could be together.  He enjoyed visiting with family and friends, studying the Bible, fishing, eating and napping! He joined toastmasters for a time to hone his speaking skills and enjoyed doing substitute teaching in Grandview School District.  He was always involved in church activities, sometimes giving a Bible study message and for many years giving a short devotional at a weekly church men's breakfast. He also was skilled in writing, being able to create meaningful communication. He wrote several stories of our adventures while overseas. Even in his dementia he kept his delightful sense of humor and his appreciation for people.  I was also privileged to remain connected to him at a deep level to the end of his life. He was preceded in death by his brother Dale, and his parents Lloyd and Dorothy.  He is survived by his sister Glenda (John) Abercrombie, his brother Ken (Cindy), his sister Sue (Brian) Potter, and his Uncle Richard (Gerry) Verhoef who was the same age and like a brother growing up. Also by numerous and wonderful nieces and nephews. I asked a number of family and friends to describe Irvin and the following traits were given consistently. I also added my own:

Big hearted; kindhearted; soft hearted

Always had a smile

Always sought to do the right thing

Great sense of humor

Laughed easily, liked a good laugh, liked to tell dumb jokes

Cried when happy or sad

Sad when people left

Like to eat cheetos, cashews, cookies and milk

Sensitive, tender, quiet, faithful, true, honest, reliable

Sensible, practical, steady, clear headed, patient

Spiritually insightful, had spiritual and life wisdom

Humble, could easily put others first, appreciative

Attentive - truly listened to people

Thoughtful of others, spoke positive of people but perceptive of wrong motives in others

Easy, pleasant, comfortable to be around, the type of person you wanted to be around

Can't think of anything negative in his character

A great man, loved by many

Liked to fish

Authentic, was himself, real, genuine


Preferred not to spend money, was happy with what he had

Resisted change (as in furniture, clothes, schedules, etc.)

Liked a good nap

Loved to tease kids and cats

Loved reading and sharing the Word of God

I, his wife, have been truly blessed to be the Love of His Life

Graveside Military Service will be held on Monday, August 8, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery  21702 West Espanola Rd. Medical Lake, WA 99022 Military Service is only 30 minutes. Recption to follow at Medical Lake City Hall, 124 South Lefevre Medical Lake, WA. 99022.  

Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. at the Sunnyside Grace Brethren Church, 703 Franklin, Sunnyside, WA.  98944 with luncheon to follow at the church. 

Those wishing to sign Irvin's memorial guest book may do so at  Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Irvin Ray Curfman, please visit our floral store.

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Graveside Service
August 8, 2022

11:15 AM
Washington State Veterans Cemetery
21702 West Espanola Rd.
Medical Lake, WA 99022

Celebration of Life
August 20, 2022

11:30 AM
Grace Brethren Church
703 Franklin Avenue
Sunnyside, WA 98944
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