Kind, generous, and genuine. Those are just a few simple words to describe a man with a huge heart. Chet Curtis. He was known by most as a legendary Boston news icon, but to my wife I, he was a cherished friend who always had something positive to say about everyone and everything. He had a unique quality of making everyone around him feel like they were a close friend and he showed sincere interest in everyone's lives. Chet was an inspiration. He guided me through numerous career and personal decisions. He was a beloved friend with a fatherly-like quality. Each time my wife and I got together with him, he wanted to take us on a plane ride somewhere, such as lunch in Maine or Nantucket. Or, a ride on his boat, or a visit to his Fort Lauderdale home. We'll always remember Super Bowl Sunday 10 years ago today when he took us for a flight to Nantucket for lunch. Janet and I had only been dating about 8 weeks at the time and to Chet's offer of a 'pee-bag, just in case', she said, "Thanks, but if it comes to that, I'd rather land." When we were engaged almost a year later, Chet was the very first person we told - even before our own families. We adored him. He flew himself to our wedding on Nantucket but due to a developing haze in the sky, he was concerned of his flight back to Hanscom so had to depart early before taking the mike to sing for us. It was one of the last flights he took before he turned in his wings to become the captain of his boat Anchor Away. Chet was a man who lived life and never let his celebrity get ahead of him. He was approachable and affable to all. Like his revered peers, Tom Ellis and R.D. Sahl, Chet epitomized who journalists once were and should still be - trustworthy, accurate, and respectful. He is, and will continue to be, sorely missed not only by Janet, myself, and all who loved him, but also by those who long for the lost era of true journalistic reporting.
Here is a 9 minute montage of that most memorable day. We flew from Hanscomb to Nantucket and back. It was this iciest winter since 1978, and is similar to this winter, just not quite as cold. You may recall, later the same day, the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII over the Panthers in a last second Adam Vinatieri Field Goal.
Tim & Janet Kelley February 4, 2014