Inducted: November 28, 1990
Mr. Courtis started farming with his father, Harry Courtis, after attending S.S. No. 17, Chatham Gore and Wallaceburg High School. From the first, he displayed a determination to benefit from a developing agricultural technology; and on one occasion, braved sceptical comment to apply nitrogen fertilizer with successful results.
In 1947, he married Marion Burger and started acquiring land to supplement the 75-acre home farm on Concession 3, Chatham Gore, now operated by his son, Harry.
Mr. Courtis was a dairy farmer during the heyday of Kent County milk production, and he worked as both a member and the Chairman of the Kent Milk Committee. He served on the Kent County Wheat Committee as a member and Chairman; and was Chairman of the Ontario Wheat Producers' Marketing Board from 1988-1990.
For Mr. Courtis, a successful agriculture had to be surrounded by sound community organizations. Farming was one element of community life.
Another important element was education, and Mr. Courtis was a Trustee and Chairman of the Wallaceburg Secondary School Board before the advent of county school boards. Service organizations were another element, and he served as a member and President of the Wallaceburg Rotary Club; and, a member and President of the Wallaceburg Horticultural Society.
Mr. Courtis was recognized in 1984 as the Wallaceburg & District Chamber of Commerce "Agriculturalist of the Year."
He has been described by those who know him best as "a man with strong convictions...and ready to stand up for them to better agriculture and the community.