James Ellison Curnutte, aged 88, departed this life on September 22, 2022, surrounded by family members who loved him dearly. Jim was born July 29, 1934 at the family farm in West Point, Missouri to parents Margaret Bernadine (Green) and Bayard Tolliver Curnutte. Although he resided in Butler, Missouri at the time of his death, he lived most of his life in and always referred to West Point and Amsterdam, Missouri as home. Jim graduated from Miami R-1 High School in 1952, and married his sweetheart, Lila Jean Musick of Drexel, Missouri, on October 6, 1956. To this union, six children were born.
Jim worked hard as a carpenter to provide for his family, and helped build many well-known buildings in the Kansas City area, including Arrowhead, the Kansas City Royals stadium, KCI, and Crown Center. He was a proud member of the Carpenters Union Local 777.
Jim was known for his love of all sports, and especially enjoyed watching and supporting his kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren in the stands. He was an avid supporter of athletics at Miami R-1 Schools, including his work on the school board there and serving as a baseball coach to many young men in the community. He closely followed his St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, and would often fall asleep listening to ball games on his radio. Jim loved to fish and spend time outdoors, be it hunting quail or cutting wood. The entire Curnutte clan would often meet at Roaring River State Park to fish and celebrate Jim’s birthday.
Jim was pre-deceased by his parents, stillborn daughter Karen Anne, older brother Bayard Donald Curnutte, and great-grandson Patrick Connor Mulcahy. His wife Lila survives, as do five children: Diana (John) Swezey of Drexel, Missouri; Kathy (Ben) Havelka of Louisburg, Kansas; Kristi (Dicky) Smalley of Boonville, Missouri; Tim (Sue) Curnutte of Chariton, Iowa; and John Curnutte of Independence, Missouri. Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Tara (Pat) Mulcahy, Kash (Brooke) Dubray, Kyle (Erin) Dubray, Tyler (Kate) Swezey, Taylor (Austin) Bridges; Kellen Curnutte; Devin Smalley, Ethan Curnutte, and Jackson Curnutte. Twelve great-grandchildren survive as well: Kathy, Liam, and Aidan Mulcahy; Hunter, Drake, and Lila Dubray; Kylee, Kiersten, and Kaleb Dubray; Payten Shearer; and Lilly and Isabelle Bridges. He was also blessed with three step-grandchildren and four step great-grandchildren.