Former Wangaratta citizen of the year Peter Curtis, who was recognised with his wife Helen, to be remembered at funeral

AN optometrist, who shared Wangaratta’s citizen of the year award with his wife, will be farewelled on Friday.

Shutterbug: Peter Curtis with fellow Landcare group members in 2006 after the organisation received a digital camera for photographs of plant species in their district.

Shutterbug: Peter Curtis with fellow Landcare group members in 2006 after the organisation received a digital camera for photographs of plant species in their district.

Peter Curtis, 89, died on February 2 after a battle with prostate cancer.

He and his wife, Helen who died in 2015, were jointly recognised in 2005 for their environmental endeavours by being named Wangaratta’s  top residents.

It was the only time a couple have shared the honour.

They began the Wangaratta Urban Landcare Group and Dr Curtis received a PhD for a ground-breaking study on grass trees in the Warby Ranges.

A Melbourne boy, Dr Curtis arrived in Wangaratta as a fresh optometry graduate in the early 1950s.

He married librarian Helen, also originally a Melburnian, in 1954.

Admirable work: Then Victorian Environment Minister Marie Tehan (centre) speaks with Peter and Helen Curtis at a 1998 event to mark the environmental rehabilitation of Kaluna Park in Wangaratta.

Admirable work: Then Victorian Environment Minister Marie Tehan (centre) speaks with Peter and Helen Curtis at a 1998 event to mark the environmental rehabilitation of Kaluna Park in Wangaratta.

They had four children. 

Dr Curtis had a drive to treat children, drawing ties to their behaviour and visual disorders such as dyslexia. 

Wodonga eye doctor Michael Smith will eulogise at the funeral at Wangaratta’s Mason Park Chapel from 2pm on Friday.

Donations to the Landcare group or Bush Heritage Australia will be taken in lieu of flowers.