Curtis Rope was born December 10, 1955, in the cotton fields of Pima, Arizona to Boni & Lucinda Rope. He was the 8th of nine children.
Curtis attended Ft. Thomas Elementary, Jr. High & High School. Curtis spent his childhood years playing and exploring the outdoors with his brothers, friends, and numerous cousins. He loved riding horses and wild mules. His brother, Steven, told a story of how the boys were riding stray horses. Some of them used baling wire for horse bridles, but Curtis decided to use a rubber bicycle tire tube. He got on the horse and the horse took off with him at a high-speed gallop. He tried to stop the horse but the rubber bicycle tire only stretched instead of stopping the horse. Steven said Curtis looked like Geronimo with his long wild hair blowing in the wind on that run-away horse.
They also liked to ride wild donkeys every time they went to visit relatives in Canyon Day. On one of their visits, Curtis jumped on a donkey and Steven got on the back. The donkey started bucking and Steven jumped off while Curtis stayed on like a professional bronc rider. Not many people know that Curtis was a natural-born cowboy.
Curtis became a born-again Christian in the late 1970s, along with his friends and relatives Terry Anderson, Sr., Learky Rope, Layton Baylish, Alfred Walters, Evans Rope, Jr., and many of his friends. He became very proficient in knowing the Bible from cover to cover, quoting Bible scriptures from memory. He also was a very good singer, he taught himself how to play the guitar, bass guitar, drums, and the piano.
Curtis attended American Indian Bible College in Phoenix, Arizona, where he obtained his ministerial license. When Curtis came back to Bylas, he became a Pastor at the Bylas House of God Church for a few years. After that, he started his ministry as an evangelist, holding tent revivals on the San Carlos Reservation, White Mountain Reservation, as well as the Pima and Papago Reservations. He also traveled several times to preach in Illinois and Indiana with his brother, Randy Rope, and his friend Bro Bob, Robert Brandemon.
One time while holding a tent revival in Cedar Creek, he sat down in his chair on stage. The chair was apparently too close to the edge and when he sat down, he fell over backwards and his legs shot up in the air. The congregation didn’t say a word, it got very quiet. He got up, put his chair back and walked to the microphone, and said to the congregation, “Go ahead and get it out of your system and laugh, I know you all want to laugh.” The congregation burst out laughing. The next day a lady came up to him and told him, “Bro Rope, I’ve been depressed for so long but after last night, I’ve been laughing all day, I feel happy, Thank you.”
He made many lifelong friends in his travels, many that helped him with his ministry: Stephen Gosayun, Emerson Baylish, Nathaniel & Delphina Wright, Fernando Mull, his brother Randy Rope, his sister Charlotte Rope, his brother-in-law Burnette Rope, Sr., and many other too numerous to count.
Curtis had a powerful ministry. In 1983, Curtis got married, he had 7 children: Sharlyn Rope, Lucille Marsh, Jeremiah Rope, Samantha Thonglit, Melody Rope, and Hope & Holly Rope. He had 9 grandchildren; 5 grandsons & 4 granddaughters. His friends called him the grandfather of all nations because his grandkids are of all different ethnic backgrounds. He truly enjoyed being a grandfather & he fully loved all of them. They were his pride and joy.
In 2011, Curtis’s health started failing and he went to live in Tucson near his children until his death on December 31, 2020.
Curtis was a man of strong faith, he knew and quoted the bible from memory, a powerful preacher. He had a sense of humor and a sense of adventure and was an avid fisherman.
Curtis will truly be missed but we take comfort in knowing that he is now in that city of gold where roses never fade.
Graveside Services will be held Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 11:00 am at Navajo Point Cemetery - Bylas, Arizona by Pastor Orville Victor.
To send flowers to Curtis' family, please visit our floral store.