Local veteran known as the 'Last Man Standing' dies at 100

Updated: August 15, 2019 10:29 PM

Most of us want to live a long, healthy and prosperous life. That's exactly what 100-year-old Jean DeCurtins did before he passed Wednesday.

He was the final member of the 'Last Man's Club' in Stillwater— a group of World War II veterans.


"That's my father in law, Wilmer Lance. Jean said he was the strongest man in the company," Gary Kriesel said.

Sad to say, Jean, the last man, has passed.

"The thing I'm going to miss about Jean is... his sharing of his experiences," he said.

Kriesel says he got to know Jean when he started working at Northern States Power in 1966.

Stillwater veteran is now the Last Man

"Jean was a humble man. He went overseas, did his duty served and was happy to come home," he said.

Jean was known as a voracious reader. He spent considerable time at the Stillwater Public Library going through the newspapers.

"I've been blessed to be with him almost every day for 40 years," librarian Lori Houston said.

Houston was one of Jean's favorite librarians. She was with him earlier Wednesday before he passed.

"And I got the call and I realized not only Stillwater has lost a wonderful man, but the whole St. Croix Valley community," she said.

Jean DeCurtins survived six battles and 14 engagements in North Africa and Italy.

Stillwater City Council member Mike Polehna said Jean being the last man was the guy for their greatest generation— the World War II veterans.

"And it's really sad that we lost one of our local heroes," he said.

DeCurtins' funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday at the Church of St. Michael in Stillwater. Visitation starts at 10 a.m.

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Todd Wilson

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