Curtis Gene Canard, age 94, of Richland, Michigan and Summerfield, Florida, died peacefully on December 9, 2016 at Halifax Hospital Hospice care in Ormond Beach, FL. He had been fighting Alzheimer's, cancer, and congestive heart failure when a fall precipitated his death. For 67 years, Curtis was the beloved husband of Betty Jo Canard. He was the loving father of Ronald Gene Canard, Bobby Lynn Canard, Nancy Jo Burt, and Colette Fay Atkins. He was predeceased by his daughter, Shirley Ann Sweet and is survived by his sister, Betty DeDoes. He is the grandfather to 12 admiring grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. During World War II, Curtis left his home town in Mountain View, Arkansas to serve in the U.S. Army's 101st Infantry and become a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division where he survived hand to hand combat. He spent the cold winter of 1944 in a foxhole in the Ardennes Forest and was wounded by shrapnel while reconnoitering during Battle of the Bulge. Throughout his life, Curtis had an extraordinary work ethic. After the War, he joined friends and relatives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he landed a job in manufacturing. He would often work double shifts and weekends to provide for his family. To relax, he enjoyed playing baseball and listening to the Grand Ole Opry. He also enjoyed telling a good story and exchanging anecdotes with fellow workmen, hunters, mechanics, neighbors, Masons, and farmers. He laughed heartily and enjoyed practical jokes. Curtis remained true to his rural Arkansas roots. He loved farming and country life and, during the 67 years he lived in Michigan, he reveled in raising livestock as well as an annual litter of puppies (some of which he would keep to lead his hunt for foxes). He was in his element when building a shed or barn, felling trees, and plowing his enormous gardens with a horse or tractor. He spent many a day splitting firewood, cutting black locust posts, and fencing in the family's horses and ponies. In 1988, Curtis retired after 25 years with the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, at which time he was able to dedicate more time to family and farming. In his later years, he pursued his passion for fishing and enjoyed watching sunsets on beautiful Gull Lake with Betty Jo. She was his partner in a lasting love that sustained them through life's ups and downs and she was his devoted caregiver throughout his illness. For fun, they would play cards, go dancing, and play golf. For 52 years, they were members of Yorkville Community Church and, for the last decade, they also attended Village View Community Church, near their winter home in Summerfield, Florida. Curtis was a member of the American Legion, VFW Veterans Club, Masonic Lodge, United Commercial Travelers of America, and the Kellogg Retirees Club. A military service in memory of Curtis will be held at the home of Nancy and Dick Burt at 1728 John Anderson Dr., Ormond Beach at 5:00 P.M. on December 27th. A memorial service will also be held this coming summer in Michigan on a date to be announced shortly. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Betty Jo Canard at 1239 Ocean Shore, Suite 7F, Ormond Beach, FL 32176. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Curtis may be sent to Yorkville Church, 11523 East "D" Ave., Richland, MI 49083.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 3rd at Yorkville Community Church, 11523 East "D" Ave., Richland, MI 49083..