MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Curtis Griffith Nelson, died Sept. 29, 2016 of complications from post-polio syndrome and pneumonia.
He is survived by his true companion of 39 years, Nancy Nehls Nelson; sons, Gilbert (Leigh), Gregory (Alison), Griffith (Erin), and Gary; grandchildren, Amber Rose (Arthur) and Benjamin; brother, John Robert Nelson (Susan); niece, Kara (Andrew), nephews, Josh and Jonathan (Carolyn); and his faithful dogs, WillieT and Harley.
Born in Mamaroneck in 1933, he had the unrestrained rough-and-tumble childhood of that era; recounted in stories galore from listening to “The Shadow” during World War II to runaway motorcycles and living on Walter’s Hot Dogs at Mamaroneck High School.
After serving in the U. S. Navy during the Korean War, he returned to finish college at Carnegie Tech (Mellon) College in Pittsburgh. He barely endured one 8 to 5 job with Donnelly Printing Company in Chicago before his entrepreneurial drive and free spirit blossomed in the 1960s.
While living in the western suburbs of Chicago, he went on to own women’s apparel shops and car washes, built hammocks, marketed organic dog biscuits and owned the Midwest’s first volume raw alfalfa sprout company, Windmill Farms, which produced five tons of sprouts a week for Chicago and the surrounding markets.
He loved a challenge and turned his curiosity to metal sculpture and pottery later in life. More than anything, he loved to cook. “Curt’s Café” was always the best meal in town with artistic presentation and plenty of wine.
In lieu of flowers and to celebrate his love of all animals, donations may be made to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue , P. O. Box 8195, Asheville, NC 28814.