Calistoga has lost one of its beloved citizens. On January 29, Christian Curtis, former longtime bartender at the Calistoga Inn, passed away leaving behind his extended family including his sisters Amy Curtis and Elly Curtis Galindo, young son, Bryan, and his parents, Terry and Rebecca Curtis.
Curtis will be remembered for his big heart, welcoming smile, and his ability to make everyone with whom he came into contact feel at home. He was also an avid golf player and hit the links often with his friend and former boss, Michael Dunsford, the Inn’s owner.
“Christian left the Inn about three or four years ago,” said Dunsford, “but he was one of my primary bartenders, and he was one of the best bartenders I’ve every worked with. He had a huge local following and remembered everyone. Christian could make your favorite drink and have it waiting on the bar before you hit the barstool.”
Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning remembers Curtis as, “Quite a character who made everyone at the inn feel welcome; he always greeted everyone warmly and was known by many in town.”
Curtis passed away at the age of 46 from complications of COVID-19. He spent his last nine days in the hospital, and his sister, Elly Curtis Galindo, said that the family thought he would pull through, but while still in the ICU he took a turn for the worse.
Growing up, Galindo and Curtis moved around to different places but lived in Calistoga during their early childhood, and the family has a property on Sharp Road where Curtis lived before his death.
Terry Curtis said, “Although he lived in a number of different cities and states, Christian was from Calistoga and considered Calistoga his home. His greatest love was his son, Bryan, whom he and his ex-wife named after Christian’s childhood friend Bryan Diaz who died when he and Christian were in the sixth grade at Calistoga Elementary. His second love was golf which he played with anyone who would play and as often as possible.”
Curtis’s mother Rebecca said, “Christian was born eight weeks early, and the doctors wouldn’t let anyone see him because they thought he wasn’t going to survive. But he did, and he had such passion for life. At 18 months he could identify every tool in the Sears catalogue, and at four he built a wooden stool for me. He lived life at full speed, never missing a chance to explore. Most importantly, he had a big heart, and he cared for people, even those he had just met. He made friends easily, and if you were one of the people lucky enough to be counted among his friends, you know how special he truly was. He will be desperately missed.”
The family will plan a memorial service when COVID-19 restrictions ease, probably sometime over the summer.