Robert H. “Bob” Curl, 89, of Cando, ND passed away peacefully on Monday, August 9, 2021 at Sanford Health in Bismarck, ND with his family by his side. A visitation will be held on Friday, August 13, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Dunnigan-Dix Funeral Home in Cando. A family service will follow the visitation at 8:00 p.m. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Cando with Pastor Rick Craig officiating. The burial will follow the celebration of life and take place at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Cando with a masonic service. Military honors will be provided by the Hal Parker Post #79 Cando American Legion and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the donor's choice of charity in Bob's name.
Everyone is welcome to stream the service and family service through the Dunnigan-Dix Facebook Page.
Bob was born August 15, 1931 on his grandfather’s homestead in Atkins township. He knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a farmer. He was an only child and often told about his imaginary brother that lived near the coulee just north of the farm.
Bob attended elementary and high school in Cando. He lived with his beloved grandmother in town during the school year. He played football and baseball, graduating in 1949.
Like many from his generation, Bob loved his country and having lived through WW2, felt compelled to serve in the military. He convinced his dad to let him enlist in the Army National Guard at age 17. His father had lived through both world wars and reluctantly agreed saying, “what are the chances of another war?” Bob served during the Korean War Era. He was blessed to go on an honor flight in 2018 visiting Washington, DC with his veteran son, Paul. It was one of the highlights of his life.
Following his service, Bob attended the North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC), now known as NDSU. He was a fraternity brother at Alpha Gamma Rho, or ‘alpha grab a hoe’ as he liked to call it. It was here that he purchased a J3 Piper Cub airplane with a couple of fraternity brothers and his love for aviation began. He said he wasn’t a real good student in college but he could throw one heck of a party. He loved his Bison football and rarely missed a televised game.
After finishing his degree, he returned home and began farming with his dad. This is what he was born to do.
In 1958, he married the love of his life, JoAnne Anderson. Although the two grew up just 10 miles apart, they met when JoAnne was teaching just across the border in Barnesville, MN. Bob was dating her roommate at the time, and he and JoAnne bonded by reading the week-old Towner County Record Herald that her dad always sent her. The rest was history.
Their marriage was blessed with three children. Bob was an ever proud and loving father and grandfather. His family was everything to him and the feeling was mutual. His grandchildren adored Grandpa Bob and loved hearing his colorful and amusing stories. He had a true gift of joy and always made people feel special.
After retiring from farming in 1996, Bob decided he wanted to get back into aviation and made plans to build an airplane. His coffee buddies told him he was crazy and that he would never finish it. After several years and what he figured to be 20,000 hours, he flew his airplane. He painted the name “The Cando Attitude” on the fuselage.
In his later years, Bob enjoyed his woodworking shop on the edge of town. He especially loved making wooden toys for kids. His shop was his sanctuary where you could always count on hearing Frank Sinatra playing in the background. He loved to have visitors at the shop and would stop what he was doing to chat. He always had a project going and loved to stay busy. He was so fortunate to have been able to do this right up until the end.
Beside his shop was his other sanctuary: the garden. He loved to be out tending to his crop. Once a farmer, always a farmer. He built and kept several purple martin houses. He and JoAnne often enjoyed a happy hour sip of Southern Comfort sitting by the garden watching and listening to these amazing birds. His beloved martins would often start their long, southward journey on his birthday. To him they signified another trip around the sun.
Bob was very active in the community. After helplessly watching his father die of a heart attack, he took EMT training and was instrumental in getting the first ambulance service in Towner County. He was a volunteer fireman. He served on the Towner County Soil Conservation District. He was the Civil Defense Director for the county during the Cold War. He was one of the initial members of the Cando Farmers Elevator Board and was instrumental in procuring the ownership rights of the elevator for local farmers. He was the chairman of the Cando Municipal Airport Authority. He was a proud and active member of the Hal Parker American Legion Post. He was a Mason and a Shriner, member of Kem Temple, as well as a member of the Cando Order of Eastern Star. In addition, he was also an active member of the Cando United Methodist Church.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Esther Curl.
Bob is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, JoAnne; daughter, Nancy (Curtis) Bohn of Woodbury, MN; sons, Paul (Sara) Curl of West Lakeland Township, MN; Bill (Gretchen) Curl, of Bismarck; grandchildren Alex (Stephanie) and Grace Bohn, Rachael and Elias Curl, and Byrne, Britta, Cullen and Brenna Curl.