In memoriam: Cyril D. Curtis

Cyril D. Curtis

Former Fermilab employee Cyril D. Curtis died on June 1. He was 98.

Curtis was born in Edwards County, the second son of Benjamin and Zella (Tait) Curtis. After being called to active duty with the U.S. Army air force, he was sent eventually to Los Alamos National Laboratory to assist in testing the first atomic bomb. After World War II, Curtis attended the University of Illinois, earning his Ph.D. in physics. While there, he met and married Helen Ulrey. They had two children, Jonathan and Christopher.

Curtis worked at Argonne National Laboratory and Vanderbilt University before joining Fermilab in 1967 — one of its first employees. Curtis became involved in the radiation treatment of cancer by protons and neutrons. Fermilab personnel designed and built a low-energy proton synchrotron for use at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, and 10 years after the machine began operation, Curtis developed prostate cancer, which was cured by the machine he helped build.

He retired from Fermilab in 1986.

Curtis was a member of the American Physical Society, AAAS and the Sigma Xi Research Society. He authored and co-authored many articles in professional journals.

A memorial service for Curtis will take place on Saturday, June 15, at 11 a.m. This will be preceded by a viewing at 9 a.m. Both the viewing and the memorial service will be at First United Methodist Church of Albion, 129 E Main St, Albion, Illinois 62806. The service will be followed by interment at Mt. Zion cemetery Southeast of Albion.