Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent
Name: Curtis Tiffin
Born: March 25, 1925
Died: Aug. 8, 2005
Preceded in death by: his parents, and a brother, Carroll T. Tiffin and a sister, Thelma Starkey.
Survived by: His wife; two sons, Ted (wife Debbie Anne) Tiffin and Time A. Debbie Ellen) Tiffin of Fort Worth, Texas; four daughters and sons-in-law, Delvene (husband Richard Smith of Portales, Glenda Joy (Raymond) Sandoval of Las Vegas, NM, Terry Lou (Mac) of Portales and Kerry (Ellis) Tipton of Kemah, Texas; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; two brothers, Arthur L. Tiffin of Portales and Gerald D. Tiffin of Oklahoma City, Okla. And three sisters, Jewell Hall, Laverna Brewer and Ramona Berry, all of Portales.
Curtis Tiffin was a unique man that had his own voice in life. He created a path that did not always follow the crowd but gave special meaning to the lives of those that took account of his days on Earth.
Curtis Tiffin died at the age of 80 on Aug. 8, 2005 due to complications with diabetes and high blood pressure.
In his earlier years, family members said that Tiffin had a temper but in one moment, he brought glory to God’s glory when he gave his life to Christ. A whole new attitude was born into Tiffin’s character which changed the goals he accomplished in life because of his commitment, according to family members.
On many occasions, he was referred to as a great man of faith. He loved to debate and educate people about the Bible. According to 2 Cor. 16:9, The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the Earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. All family members that were interviewed said that Tiffin was definately one that was loyal in many different ways to Christ.
Tiffin had many aspects to his life. He had an ability to create inventions through his tinkering in his shop. He made various conveniences such as a , a garage door opener, a car the size of a Toyota that ran on batteries and a dishwasher made from a 50-gallon drum
“It was interesting watching him,” said Dorothy Tiffin, Curtis Tiffin’s wife. “It was always amazing to me that he could take material of no interest and make something of it.”
For five years, Tiffin and his wife drove a church bus for Liberty Baptist Church picking up children. He was a member of New Testament Baptist Church before his death. He and Dorothy drove their church bus for five years picking up children that were desiring to attend church.
Family members said that Tiffin was very protective of his family and the children that rode on the bus. Anyone no showing respect for the little ones were confronted by
Tiffin’s zeal to protect them from cruelty and harshness.
Curtis Tiffin was born on Mar. 25, 1925, in Maude, Okla. To Effie and A.N. Tiffin. Tiffin’s family moved from Maude to Ranchvale when he was four years old. He graduated from high school there in 1943, and entered the U. S. Navy. He served as a Seabee during World War II. Tiffin joined his family in Portales and helped his father in house construction work, once discharged from the Nave in 1946.
Tiffin met his soon to be Bride while she was attending Eastern New Mexico University. On their first date, Tiffin brought Dorothy Stafford to a song leaders house to practice for a quartet.
“We were both interested in music,” said Dorothy. “He had a good strong voice and was very good looking when I met him and was good looking even in the end,” she said.
They married on Dec. 4, 1948 in Fouke, Ark. a month after he proposed. They were married for 56 years and had 6 children together. They moved back to Portales shortly thereafter. In 1950 he began working in the oil fields for Mobil oil. He enjoyed physical fitness, singing, playing the banjo and mandolin, tractors, gardening with Dorothy, time with his family and especially his grandchildren.
Terry Lou Scott, Curtis Tiffin’s daughter, said when she was younger she did not understand her father but as she got older, she understood him more.
“I realized what life was all about which is what changed my mind,” said Scott. “I realized that it wasn’t what people thought about you, but what you did for the Lord that counted.”
Scott said it amazed her when her father decided to dig up an evergreen tree as tall as a house and replant it elsewhere.
“Everybody told him that you couldn’t do that to a tree that mature and expect it to survive but it did. He definitely marched to the beat of his own drum,” she said.
The Tiffin family was honored by a special farewell demonstrated by the American Legion Post 31 of Portales.
On Aug. 10, a flag presentation was performed honoring Curtis Tiffin’s service as a World War II Seabee. It was the 100th flag presented to a family of a Veteran that returned from the war by the American Legion.