Curpier, who died February 12, served AOPA and GA for more than 35 years as an advertising representative and consultant. He was 78.
After being honorably discharged by the U.S. Army, Curpier returned to upstate New York and worked for Catskill Airways from 1970 to 1976. He started his career in advertising with his brother, Orison Curpier. Over the years the pair represented diverse clients in education and the food industry, but their love was always aviation, and it’s there that Curpier spent the bulk of his career.
Curpier came to AOPA after working with Flying magazine, and he became AOPA’s biggest cheerleader, according to Carol Dodds, AOPA vice president of advertising and partnerships. She said Curpier saw himself as a problem solver, and that his job was to help companies bring their products and services to the pilot community and meet their goals. And that led him to be genuinely interested in people’s lives, their flying, and their accomplishments. “Part of Brian’s discipline was that if you aren’t curious about other people you shouldn’t be in a business that provides service to people,” she said. He knew everyone’s families, their birthdays, and their history in aviation.
Editor in Chief Tom Haines worked with Curpier since coming to AOPA in the mid-1980s. Haines remembers flying with him to events or meetings, often in Curpier’s Mitsubishi MU-2—a difficult airplane to fly. Haines said Curpier was a master, and that he knew exactly how to get every ounce of performance out of it.
Haines said it was a pleasure to be in those meetings with Curpier because his passion for aviation was so obvious—and he always respected the important line between advertising’s mission and editorial’s mission. “He totally understood that credibility was critical.”
Curpier received an AOPA Presidential Citation in 2019 for his more than 35 years of service.
Outside aviation Curpier had a fondness for his dogs, his koi pond, and spending time with family. He was known as a great host and loved being with friends and family around the table. His obituary said, “Family dinners were routine and elaborate and everyone was welcome in his home to enjoy a fine cut of meat or fish, a cocktail, and a loud and jovial conversation around the kitchen table.”
He is survived by his wife and partner of 47 years, Linda Curpier; sons Brad, Adam, Peter, and Carl Curpier; daughter Leia Milavec; daughters-in-law Crystal Curpier and Kristen Shea; son-in-law Mitch Milavec; and five grandchildren.
A true statesman of GA, Curpier will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and the hundreds of people from countless companies he worked with over the years.