TAHLEQUAH – Curtis Ray Dirteater, 57, of Welling, Okla., was born Sept. 30, 1958, in Tahlequah, the son of Leon Sr. and Nannie (Christie) Dirteater. He departed this life on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at his home in Welling. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Reed-Culver Chapel. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 9, from noon until 7 p.m. at Reed-Culver Funeral Home. Interment will take place at Cedar Tree Cemetery. Online condolences for his family may be left at www.reedculver.com. Pallbearers for Curtis include Brandon Dirteater, Anthony Dirteater, A.C. Fields, Leon Dirteater Jr., Eddie Muir, Randy Dirteater, Phillip Ryals and Dennis Hamby. Honorary pallbearers include Clint Dirteater, Blake Dirteater, D.J. Hamby, Bill Stacy, Mark Hammons, Ryan Dirteater, Bennie Dreadfulwater, Zack and Dylan Ford, and his lil’ playmate and grandson, Ryker Hamby. Curtis was very skilled in many trades and loved working with his hands. He was well known for his masonry and was self-employed as a concrete finisher. He helped construct the Talking Leaves Job Corps, Sequoyah High School Gym, Burger King, as well as many driveways in the Tahlequah area and outside the Cherokee County area. During his time in Portland, Ore., he also did pipeline work. Curtis was very proud of his native heritage and was one of the first crew of the Cherokee Fire Dancers for the Cherokee Nation. He also worked for the Cherokee Heritage Center and was chosen to represent the Cherokee Tribe at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Curtis was cut short of the passionate work he loved due to his illness. Throughout his life’s struggles with his illness, he never gave up. He became a well-known survivor with W.W. Hastings Hospital medical team, nurses and his family. Curtis enjoyed the outdoors, camping, hunting, fishing, cooking for family outings, watching PBR Sports and spending time with his family, his grandson Ryker. He loved sitting and talking to his elders about the good ol’ days. He was also an active for the ceremonial grounds at Red Bird Smith and a member of the Cedar Tree Baptist Church. Curtis had a sense of humor and had nicknames for everyone that he met. He dearly loved his wife, children and the sunshine of his life, Ryker and Skielah. Curtis is preceded in death by his parents; maternal grandparents, George and Mary Jane (Sanders) Christie; paternal grandparents, Myrtle Keener and Stan Dirteater; one brother, Archie Dean Dirteater; one sister, Donna Kay Dirteater; and one nephew, Billy “Bozo” Davis. Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Ruby Wells-Dirteater of the home; one daughter, Nekesha Dirteater and husband, D.J. Hamby of Welling; one son, Brandon Dirteater of the home; and two loved grandchildren, Ryker and Skielah Hamby. He leaves behind his two brothers, Leon Dirteater Jr. and wife Terri Ann, and Randy Dirteater and wife Melithia, both of Tahlequah; four sisters, Mary Jo Hammons, Linda Stacy and husband Bill, Brenda Dirteater, and Jane Davis-Dirteater, all of Tahlequah; two sisters-in-law, Mary Muir and family of Silver Springs, Md., and Jeannie Kirk and husband Terry of Tahlequah, OK; one brother-in-law, Arthur Wells; as well as many nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Published on  February 8, 2016