Curtis Brill, 89, of Fergus Falls, formerly of New York Mills

Published 12:00pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014 Updated 12:05pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Curtis Brill, 89, of Fergus Falls, formerly of New York Mills, died Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls.

Curtis Anton Brill was born on June 11, 1924, in Newton Township in Otter Tail County, the oldest of eight children born to Cela Arthur and Mabel Jane (Welter) Brill. Curtis attended country school through the eighth grade.

After completing the eighth grade, Curtis worked as a farmhand until his enlistment into the Army on Oct. 7, 1944, at Fort Snelling.

He served with the 86th Army Division, Battery A, 331st Field Artillery Battalion and departed by troop ship for the Pacific Theater of Operations on April 28, 1945.

He arrived in the Philippines on May 17, 1945, and was involved in the Luzon campaign.

Curtis served as an officers’ cook for 14 months until Sept. 30, 1946.

On Nov. 27, 1946, Curtis received an honorable discharge from the Army at Fort Sheridan, Ill.

Following his military service, Curtis worked as a farmhand in the Bertha area.

On Feb. 26, 1949, Curtis married Arvilla Warner at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wadena.

Later that year they purchased a farm in Homestead Township and farmed there for more than 50 years starting out with sheep, pigs, chickens and dairy cattle. Later they raised beef cattle.

He attended GI school in Sebeka and studied animal husbandry and farming.

In his early years on the farm, Curtis, in partnership with a cousin, cut and sold railroad ties.

He had a passion for logging and woodworking and he eventually bought his own sawmill and planer to make lumber for farm use and for furniture and craft projects.

He also cut and sold poplar 2-by-4s to Lund Boat works for a few years.

Curtis served on the school board of Homestead Township and was their treasurer prior to the country school being closed. He was also a lifetime member of the VFW.

He loved to hunt and fish and he took his family on several fishing trips to Canada.

He became a self-taught taxidermist and had many bird, deer and small-animal mounts.

In 2007, Curtis and Arvilla moved into New York Mills. In 2008, they both moved into Fair Oaks Apartments in Wadena.

Later he moved to Fair Oaks Lodge in Wadena.

In October of 2013, he transferred to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls.

Curtis loved spending time with his grandsons and his nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife, Arvilla; a brother, Marlin; and two sisters, Claretta Vandermay and LaVern Matti.

Survivors include his daughter, Linda (John) Wright of Erhard; grandsons, Matthew (Kathryn) Wright of Itascocita, Texas, and Mitchell (Leslie) Wright of Fergus Falls; two sisters, Joan Smith of Nampa, Idaho, and Rachel Eklund of New York Mills; two brothers, Robert Brill of Las Vegas, Nev., and Roger (Sandy) Brill of New York Mills; and many nieces and nephews and their families.

Memorials are preferred to Lakeland Hospice.

Visitation: One hour prior to the service at the funeral home

Memorial Service: 1 p.m. Saturday, at Olson Funeral Home chapel, Fergus Falls

Clergy: Rev. Brad Soenksen

Military Honors will be provided by Fergus Falls V. F. W. Post 612 and American Legion 30


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