June 26, 1943 - July 4, 2023
Orvel R. Curns, 80, passed away July 4, 2023, in Surprise, Ariz., at Simple Living Assisted Care after a lengthy illness. He was born on June 26, 1943 in Ainsworth, Neb., to Orvel and Doris Jane (Snyder) Curns.
Orvel graduated from Sturgis High School in Sturgis, S.D., Class of 1962. In January of 1963, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a Navy Hospital Corpsman serving in Quantico, Va. He also served as head trainer for varsity athletics of the Quantico Marines. After four years of service, he returned to South Dakota and worked for his dad at Curns and Sons Construction. He then attended Black Hills State University, graduating in 1974. Orvel also joined the Army National
Guard Reserves, serving in Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, and Arizona, retiring in 2002 after 23 years.
On August 23, 1968, Orvel married Rachell Rixen in Mott, N.D. To this union was born a daughter, Heather C. and a son, Aaron O. After receiving his teaching degree, he coached and taught History and Social Studies in Nebraska, Colorado and South Dakota. While teaching in Oelrichs, S.D., he met and married Carol (Lorenz) Crowell on August 14, 1987. They eventually moved to Ariz. where he taught on the Navajo Indian Reservation and Phoenix area, retiring after 25 years.
Orvel enjoyed running (marathons), reading, watching football, traveling, and spending time with family. He was an avid fan of Notre Dame and the Denver Broncos. He was a member of the American Legion, the NRA, and various clubs and organizations during his teaching career.
He was very much a historian, especially Frontier History. He enjoyed taking students on bus trips to various battle sites. He was dedicated to his students and many of them have kept in touch with him over the years.
Orvel was predeceased by his parents, Orvel and Doris; sister, Karri Wyman, and her husband, Robert; son-in-law, Scot Brost; grandparents and aunts and uncles. Survivors are his wife, Carol, Surprise, Ariz.; daughter, Heather Brost, Lincoln, Neb.; son, Aaron Curns, Omaha, Neb.; stepson, Randy (Pam) Crowell, Dayton, Wyo.; stepson, Scott (Samantha) Crowell, Stafford, Va.; sister, Jean (Ken) Beug, Sturgis, S.D.; brother, Tim (Deborah) Curns, Black Hawk, S.D.; nine grandchildren: Dane (Sophie) Brost, Reid (Whitney) Brost, Lauren Brost, Owen Curns, Eleanor Curns, Ryan (Carlene) Crowell, Reese Crowell, Tyler Crowell, Cooper Crowell; brother-in- law, LaRoy Lorenz, Hot Springs, S.D; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
There will be a Celebration of Life on Sept. 30, 2023 in Hot Springs, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Winner’s Circle located at 733 Jensen Hwy. Donations can be made to Lewy Body Dementia Association in Orvel’s memory at lbda.org