Curtis Leeroy Friend, 31, died Feb. 16, 2002 in Mount Vernon to be with his Lord and Savior. He was born Sept. 7, 1970 in Mount Vernon, the son of Gary and Donna (Youngsman) Friend. Curtis grew up in the Big Lake and Clear Lake area. He attended Big Lake School, Cascade Middle School and in 1988 graduated from Sedro-Woolley High ScHool. During high school he was active in FFA and worked for Grizzley Morgan Pack Trips, taking many people into the Crystal Mountain area on horseback.
He became a heavy equipment operator and worked for many companies including Trico Contracting, SRV, and Mid-Mountain Contractors when he became ill. Curtis had a very strong and devoted work ethic. Curtis’ dream to be a fireman became a reality when he joined the Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Skagit Fire District #4 in 1989 at the age of 18. He was active with the fire department until his death. Curtis has been an inspiration to call that knew him. From birth to his death he fought to survive. His road has not been an easy one. He beat cancer three times and had a bone marrow transplant. He had both hips replaced at age 25.
Over the last year his body was no longer able to keep up the fight for life. He loved his family dearly and was devoted to his nephew and niece. Everyone he touched in his life will miss Curtis deeply.
Curtis is survived by his parents, Gary and Donna; brother, Chris and wife Leah Friend; very dear friend Lori Struthers; special nephew, Dalton Friend; special niece, Megan Friend; grandmother, Martha Youngsman; aunts, Pauline and husband Evan Carlson, Marthella and husband Earl Ayersman, Darlene Scott; uncles, Larry and wife Joann Friend, John A Youngsman; cousins, Stacy and husband Steve Hermes, Candice and husband Ed Hamilton, Brian Friend, Jerry Friend, Michael Friend, Steven and wife Karen Ayersman, Mike and wife Rosa Ayersman, Eric and wife Dawn Ayersman, John Youngsman, Jason Youngsman, and Jennifer Youngsman.
Curtis was preceded in death by his grandparents, Alonzo and Juanita Friend, John J. Youngsman; aunt, Caroline Cox. Curtis is a lifetime resident of Skagit county. He was confirmed at Bethany Covenant Church. He is a member of the Operating Engineers Union Local No. 302., Clear Lake Fireman’s Association and the Sedro-Woolley Eagles Club. Memorials may be made to Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Dept., Dist. No. 4 or Clear Lake Covenant Church. Viewing to be held Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon. A funeral will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. at Bethany Covenant Church, Mount Vernon.