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Thomas F. Curran

Obituary
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Thomas F. Curran, 64 PORTLAND -- On Jan. 11, 2009, the Portland community and the world lost a husband, father, teacher and friend to all who knew him. Thomas F. Curran, 64, passed unexpectedly at Maine Medical Center with his loving family by his side. Within hours the sad news was spread throughout the community with expressions of grief and condolences. Truly, to the Deering High School community, the city of Portland, and to all those who ever knew him the world will never be the same. Thomas was born in Portland on Feb. 8, 1944, the son of Martin and Margaret (Folan) Curran. He attended local schools and was a 1962 graduate of Portland High School. He was a lifetime lover of sports. In high school he excelled in sports, particularly basketball, playing for both Cheverus and then Portland High School. He was well liked and popular and in 1962 was voted Mr. Portland. After high school he attended Gorham State Teacher's College graduating in 1966. He began his teaching career in Lewiston at Montello Junior High School, where he won the teacher of the year award. Thomas was drafted into the Army in 1969 and served two and a half years in Korea. After serving his country he was honorably discharged. He worked at Center Day Camp, The Maine Youth Center and returned to teaching in 1975 at Jack Junior High School in Portland. He transferred to Lincoln Middle School, and in 1979 began teaching at Deering High School where he has taught for his remaining years. He coached JV basketball while at Lincoln. At Deering, Thomas coached freshman girls' softball, and intramural sports, worked the fitness room and was an advisory for The Future Teachers of America and National Youth Leaders Conference. Since 1977 he taught summer school. Thomas married the former Wallene Zemla on April 3, 1976, in Portland. He was always loved by his students. His family and friends often remarked at how they have never met a student in his class or otherwise that didn't like Tom. Thomas devoted himself to teaching and his students Thomas F. Curran and as a sign of dedication to his students he never turned down a request for a recommendation. Never missing a chance to see his students succeed, he always attended the girls' and boys' athletic events the students' senior proms and graduation. Similarly, as a result of his kind, friendly, and humorous nature, wherever he went he knew someone. It seemed he always had a friend. For Thomas, his wife and children were always foremost in his mind; they were most important in his life. No matter what the circumstance, he had a way of making them know that they were loved and safe. When faced with a challenge, they always knew they would overcome it with him by their side. He dearly loved his mother and father and did all that he could for them and his sisters as well as their children. He was a great cook according to his nephews Marty and Sean Ashley who said he made the best spaghettio's. Thomas was predeceased by both of his parents. Surviving are his wife Wallene of Portland; a son Brendan and a daughter Tara Curran both of Portland; three sisters, Maureen Curran of Portland, Barbara Ashley and her husband Richard of Westbrook, Ann Comtois and her husband Maurice of Dracut, Mass. Visiting hours will be held from 2-8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16, at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. An 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Jan. 17, at St. Patrick's Church, 1342 Congress St., Portland. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. A reception will follow at Deering High School. Online condolences may be expressed at www.ctcrawford.com. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Tom's memory to: Maine Irish Heritage Center P.O. Box 7588 Portland, Maine 04112-7588

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 14, 2009
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