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Curtis Tigard celebrates big 108th with two parties

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His Royal Villas neighbors threw one party while Tigard Historical Association hosted another one

PMG PHOTO: BARBARA SHERMAN - Curtis Tigard eyes one of two birthday cakes in the Royal Villas Clubhouse, with a party organizer, Dottie Buss, before he blew out all the candles.Curtis Tigard always enjoys at least two birthday parties, and well he should as he celebrated his 108th birthday this year.

The first party was on his real birthday, Thursday, April 13, in the Clubhouse at Royal Villas, where he has lived for nearly 50 years. Curtis' son David and daughter-in-law Sandra were there along with his best friend Bud Ossey and many park residents. There were both chocolate and white cakes and ice cream, plus candies, nuts and punch.

Thankfully, organizers only put eight candles on one cake for Curtis to blow out, leaving out the first 100, and he carefully counted them to make sure they were all there before successfully blowing them out.

On Saturday, April 15, the Tigard Historical Association held its annual party for Curtis at the John Tigard House Museum, and more than 140 townspeople, plus David and Sandra Tigard and Bud Ossey, showed up. That party featured carrot cake and punch, and two photographers, Phil Pasteris and Dennis Shen, took dozens of photos of Curtis with all the guests.

TIGARD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION: DENNIS SHEN - Tigard Mayor John Cook (left) poses with Curtis Tigard at the John Tigard House Museum, where the Tigard Historical Association held a birthday party April 15.Curtis was interviewed by the Regal Courier before his 100th birthday, and not much has changed since then.

"People ask me what I attribute my long life to," he said. "My mom was nearly 105 when she died. I exercise, eat sensibly, drink sensibly and take life easy."

A hiker, Curtis climbed Mount Hood 35 times "when I was young and healthy," he said.

The grandson of Wilson Tigard, who was the founder of Tigardville in 1852, Curtis was born April 13, 1909, to Rosa and Charles F. Tigard, who has an elementary school named after him.

Curtis and his sister Grace grew up on Fonner Street, and their parents operated the Tigardville General Store and later the town post office at the intersection of Pacific Highway and McDonald Street.

Curtis delivered the Oregon Journal on horseback, and another job was catching moles at the Tualatin Country Club and in the fields his dad plowed. Curtis recalled that Washington County paid 10 cents for each mole that was turned in, but he also took stacks to a furrier to be made into muffs.

TIGARD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION: PHIL PASTERIS - Barbara Peterson, a Summerfield resident who is the Tigard Historical Association's historian, poses with Curtis Tigard at his public birthday party while he reads a birthday card.Curtis visited his uncle, John Tigard, at his house that was located where Walgreens is sited at Pacific Highway and Gaarde; the house was later moved to 103rd and Canterbury Lane and became a museum, where Curtis celebrates his public birthday every year.

Curtis attended Tigard Grade School and Beaverton High School because there was no Tigard High School at the time. He got a degree in banking and finance at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). Curtis worked for US Bank for 34 years, serving as manager of the Tigard branch for 18 years until he retired in 1971.

Curtis has lived his entire life in Tigard except for the mid-1930s when he was on active duty in the Army serving in North Africa, Italy, the West Coast and at the Pentagon.

Curtis and his first wife had David, who has two sons. After his first wife died, he married his second wife Julia, who died 18 years ago.