Deborah Curtis

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  • "Will, I am thinking of you today with the loss of your..."
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Deborah Curtis, 64
PORTLAND - Deborah Curtis, 64, passed away from cancer on Monday, May 8, 2017.
A longtime resident of Portland, Deborah spent her last months in Small Point, where she had spent her summers all her life.
Born on April 10, 1953, in Washington, D.C., to parents Ted and Claire Curtis, Deborah grew up in Rochester, New York. Her family was prolific and well-known in Rochester, and she maintained strong ties to the city, visiting regularly. She received her bachelor's degree at Williams College in its first co-ed class. She attended law school at Cornell University, passed the Bar in New York State, and worked as an assistant district attorney in New York City in the 1970s.
After marriage, she and her husband moved to Portland, where all three of her children, Will, Victoria, and Ned, were born, and she remained an active resident for the rest of her life. She participated in many committees and programs for the betterment of the community of Southern Maine, and she was also a long-time contributor to, and attendee at, the Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick.
Soon after moving to Portland, Deborah began teaching at Waynflete School, where she would work for 33 years. She taught history and was a dedicated sponsor of the arts, especially theater, and also extracurricular activities, leading the mock trial and model UN programs. She also was a major proponent of Waynflete's participation in its award-winning One-Act Play Festival program.
Deborah lost her eyesight in her early 40s to retitinis pigmentosa, and her seeing eye dogs were a staple wherever she went. This, along with the death of her daughter, a divorce, and challenges with her health in her later life, were always overcome with her unflappable humor, wit, and determination. Friends called her "feisty," "courageous," "dedicated," "intuitive," and "an extraordinary educator." She continued to work full-time until her cancer diagnosis.
She is survived by her children, Will and Ned; her grandson, Misha; her mother, Claire; her sisters, Diane, Vicky and Claire; her brother, Ted; her aunt, Ruth; her six nieces and two nephews, her four stepnieces and one stepnephew; and her seeing eye dog, Franny.
She was predeceased by her daughter, Victoria; her father, Ted; her aunt, Diane; and the father of her children, W. Michael.
A service will be held May 13, 2017, at 11 a.m. at St. Luke's Cathedral, 143 State St., Portland. There will be a reception at the Cumberland Club.

Contributions in her memory may be made to "The Debba Curtis Fund for Students in Need" at Waynflete School. Memorial contributions may be mailed to:
Waynflete School
c/o the Development Office
360 Spring Street
Portland, ME 04102

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 11, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home
199 Woodford Street | Portland, ME 04103 | (207) 775-3763
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