The following obituary for Therna Curtis appeared in the Hartford Courant on March 25, 2015. Therna, a long time member of UUS:E, died at the age of 91 at her home in Columbia, Connecticut, March 22, 2015.
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As her rescued kitties, Billy and YoYo, will tell you, Therna Sturgis Curtis, Columbia Connecticut, 91, was one of the best things that happened to them and to everyone else who met her. This sparkling, energetic and vibrant lady, brightened the path of all she encountered, often singing her way into their hearts.
Therna was the 3rd of 7 children of Hazel Mower and Alfred Sturgis, of Auburn, Maine. She was the drum major, leading the marching band at Edward Little High School , where she also met her future husband, Harold O. Curtis (a tuba player). During the war, she attended Farmington State Normal School (now University of Maine, Farmington) and became a teacher. Harold and Therna married soon after the war and were married for 55 years at the time of Harold’s death. They lived in Cambridge, Mass; Clinton, New York; Waltham, Mass; Honolulu, Hawaii; Robbinsville, New Jersey; and retired in Columbia, Connecticut. Their children, Kathy, John, Michael, Cynthia and Beth, (and Bez, Leah, the incredible Peg and Charles); grandchildren Abby, Anne, Josh, Tim, Nick, Chris, Greg, Kyle and great grandson Sammy are proud to claim Therna as Mumm, Grandma and Great Grandma.
With teaching as a foundation, Therna lived a life of leadership, devoted to equality, tolerance, peace and service. Her gentle spirit, coupled with her curiosity and genuine interest in others touched many hearts. After years of voluntary service, she took a bold step into entrepreneurship, opening a franchise of Diet Workshop and helping hundreds of women and men to make healthier lifestyle choices. As a deaf person for much of her life, Therna became the President of the local chapter of SHHH (Self Help for Hard of Hearing.) Her advocacy convinced churches and community organizations to install technology to enable deaf and hard of hearing members to fully participate. In her senior years, she became a volunteer for the Friendly Visitor program and was active in the development of many programs at the Beckish Senior Center in Columbia, Connecticut.
Therna treasured the splendor of the outdoor world and reached her goal of seeing many of the national parks. She was a skilled seamstress, quilter and rug braider. Her home crafts adorn the houses of all her knew her. She cherished her friends Gert, Pete, Norine and Alberta, adored her kitties and marveled at the visiting birds and wild turkeys outside her window. Her final lessons for us centered around compassion, strength and love.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Columbia Seniors Organization, Inc, Beckish Senior Center, 188 Rte 66, Columbia, CT 06237. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 4th at 11:00 AM at the Beckish Senior Center, 188 Rte 66, Columbia, CT (860)-228-0759.