Curtis M Obal

Clovis, New Mexico, US

U.S. Marine Corps

CPL, Marine Reserves

12/12/2009, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA


Curtis Michael Obal, 24, died Dec. 12 at his home in Little Rock. He was born Dec. 18, 1984 in Clovis, N.M., to Curtis Paul and Bobbi J. Obal. He graduated from Cabot High School in 2003. In 2007, he graduated from UALR with a degree in political science. He received his MBA from Arkansas State University in 2009. Curtis was attending Bowen Law School at UALR. He was also a Lance Corporal in the Marine Reserves. He served as a lifeguard at the Little Rock Air Force Base swimming pool. Previously, Curtis was employed as a law clerk for Neil Dininger Law Firm. In addition, he worked as an information technology technician at the ASU nursing school.

Survivors include his wife, Lauren LaNelle Keith Obal of Little Rock; parents, Curtis and Bobbi Obal of Cabot; two sisters, Nadine Marie Obal of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Elizabeth Mae Obal of Cabot; father and mother-in-law, Allen and Rhonda Keith of Jonesboro; aunts and uncles, Patsy Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Henderson, Dr. and Mrs. Michael Obal, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Crause and many cousins.

When a recent ASU MBA graduate unexpectedly passed away last month, his family decided to start a college fund for his unborn daughter so that she too could one day receive an education like her father worked so hard to get. Curtis Michael Obal, 24, graduated from ASU’s Master’s of Business Administration program in August 2009. Curtis came to ASU after receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock in political science and after serving in the Marine Reserves in Iraq. He had recently started law school at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Bowen School of Law, where he hoped to one day become a lawyer for the FBI.

His wife, Lauren LaNell Obal, who is a Jonesboro native, having graduated from Westside High School in 2005 and graduating with her LPN license from ASU in 2009, said that Curtis enjoyed law school because he felt he was learning something that could be put to use after he graduated.

He found law school “fascinating,” Lauren said. “School was important to Curtis.”

One of his goals after graduating from law school was to one day open his own tax law firm. When Lauren and Curtis were married, his groom’s cake read “Obal Law Firm.” After Curtis’s unexpected death, his family was looking for a way to honor his love for education. A college fund was set up for the Obal’s unborn daughter, Abigail LaNell, who is due this summer. Though the family was grateful for the flowers that were sent to the funeral, they know a college fund will mean a lot to his daughter one day.

“We are blessed with a huge family of friends and church friends,” Lauren said.

Curtis’s portrait is also on Poster 10