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Alton Craig Curtis papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8451

Scope and Contents

Contains photographs, letters, memorabilia, newsletters, reports, and other material produced or collected by Curtis. Materials document his early life and education, as well as his missionary service. Also includes materials from Curtis's military service in Vietnam. Items date from between 1943 and 1972.


  • 1943-1972


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Alton Craig Curtis papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Alton Craig Curtis (1943-2011) was a Mormon missionary and soldier.

Alton Craig Curtis was born on August 26, 1943, in Phoenix, Arizona to Samuel Frederick Curtis and Emmeline Hastings Curtis. He grew up on the family ranch close to his Uncle Mel Curtis’s place, where he often played with siblings and cousins.

He grew up to be very creative and energetic. He was a cheerleader in high school, worked on the yearbook staff as a copy editor, took tap dance classes, and was involved in student government. In college, he majored in dramatic arts because of his natural talents as an actor. Throughout his life, he continued to sing, perform, invent new things, or write stories in his spare time. He is often remembered for his witty sense of humor, imagination, and willingness to follow his instincts.

When he turned nineteen, Alton Craig served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Texas from September 26, 1962, until September 25, 1964. He enjoyed his mission and kept a firm testimony in the Church for the rest of his life. After briefly returning to college at Brigham Young University, he was drafted into the U.S. Army on March 22, 1966, and fought in the Vietnam War with the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry. He was awarded the following medals and awards for his service: the Vietnam service medal with one Bronze Service Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation with "V" Device, Bronze Star Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Commendation Medal, and Air Medal. Even though his experiences in combat would continue to plague him both physically and emotionally, he is remembered for his courage, intelligence, honor, and self-sacrifice in fighting for his country.

After he was discharged from the Army on March 21, 1968, he met JoAnna K. Williams and married her on August 10, 1968 in the Mesa Arizona Temple. They had eight children together: RaeChelle, Jocelyn, Kristin, Jaynann, Jamiel, Sunni, Julianna, and Steven Craig. He died on January 25, 2011, in Tempe, Arizona, after a long struggle with lung and adrenal cancer due to his exposure to agent orange in Vietnam. On January 29, his ashes were scattered at the base of the Superstition Mountains by plane, which he considered to be the unofficial family mountain.


2 boxes (1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Curtis's daughter, Jocelyn Jones, on behalf of the family in 2014.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Jocelyn Jones; 2014.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th and 21st Century Western and Mormon Americana).

Processing Information

Processed; John Murphy; 2014.

Register of Alton Craig Curtis papers
John M. Murphy, Curator.
2015 March 31
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States