Curtis Russell Karr St. ALBANS — Last week, Curtis R. Karr, a kind and gentle man who longed for purpose, while alone in his apartment, unexpectedly died. Curtis (Courteous) was born in Montpelier, on April 14, 1954, the son of Prentiss and Charlotte (Miller) Karr. As the story goes, Curtis received his name because he was so courteous as to allow his elder twin brother to be the first one down the birth canal. That generosity, empathy and appreciation of his fellow man was to be a constant throughout his life. He turned 65 years old on April 14 and, in his final year of life, battled a crippling myelopathy in his spine which led to two surgeries, long hospital, rehabilitation and nursing home stays. Although he worked hard on his physical recovery, the chances of him returning to work and driving were dim and to ambulate, he depended on a walker. That did not keep him from getting where he needed to be! He was a frequent traveler on Route 104 and Fairfax Street and was greatly appreciative of the many kind people who offered rides up the hill, particularly in hot weather. Elementary school, middle school and high school were attended by Curtis in Montpelier. Undiagnosed in his early years, Curtis had a hearing impediment that plagued his nascent school years. Yet, persevere he did and with dogged determination, in puberty, he began to transform his child’s high utterances into a raspy, machismo-steeped, Aldo Ray voice that both intimidated and slightly obfuscated his mispronounced words. He was able to complete high school and graduate in 1992 Summa Cum Laude from Johnson State College with a BS in Psychology and later, with high honors from the University of Vermont with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. After high school, like so many of his age, Curtis groped for a self-identity. He committed to a year of contemplation and Bible study while participating in “The Order of Man,” a seminary of brothers, but at year’s end, he remained without direction. Callow, strong and in need of money, he spent his days as a union carpenter. More than a decade passed before Curtis devolved to his nadir, sought help, found purpose and returned to his education. He attained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and replaced his evening visits to bars with hours of exercise. Curtis found work helping others, but even more, for his kith and kin, he generously provided a sympathetic, non-judgmental sounding board, a listener, a support. Surely, Curtis will be greatly missed! The lifelong challenges of a mental health condition and addiction he endured would forever mold him as the man who strove to fight his own demons and use the knowledge of his personal strife to help others battle theirs. He was much beloved by co-workers, colleagues and patients at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital. Although, due to his recent physical challenges, he was required to take a leave of absence, his name remains on the roster and his locker awaits his return. He was, and is, held in the highest esteem for his selfless dedication supporting his team and his mission providing kindness and compassion to folks needing a man who gave so completely of himself in heart and mind. Curtis leaves behind his loving daughter, Chelsea Allen, whom he was exceptionally proud of and who will greatly miss him; and siblings twin Chris, Pam and Wendy. He was predeceased by his parents Prentiss and Charlotte Karr. Curtis spent the majority of his life living in the Barre-Montpelier area until he recently moved to St. Albans to be loved and cared for by his “adopted family.” He will be dearly missed by Thomas, Michelle and Caleb Cramer, Craig, Nancy, Cassandra and Stefan Volatile-Wood, Linda Cramer, his “Everything” of 20 years; and rescue dogs Little Girl Lilly and Nicky. The list would not be complete without adding his dearest lifelong friend, Randy Hutchins. Family and friends are invited to gather at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main St. in St. Albans, on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, from 2 to 5 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., there will be a formal gathering to share our memories and honor Curtis as a very special person. Should friends desire, contributions in Curtis’ memory may be made to All Breed Rescue, 491 Industrial Ave., Williston, VT 05495; Turning Point of Franklin County, 182 Lake St., St. Albans, VT 05478; or the Vermont Food Bank, 33 Parker Road, Barre, VT 05641. Messages of condolence for Curtis’ family are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.