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John Curtis died February 27, 2014 in Rosemont, Pennsylvania while receiving treatment for brain cancer. He was born March 18, 1944 in New York City and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He lived in the Arlington, VA area for over 35 years. He married Charlotte Swift of Arlington, VA. He graduated from Harvard University and Georgetown University Law School. He worked as a youth counselor, parole officer for Ohio's Youth Commission, and Chief of Operations for D.C. Pretrial Services Agency before spending 26 years as a sole practitioner in Arlington, VA., handling extensive criminal matters followed by his appointment in 2004 as first public defender in Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, VA. The first 15 years of his practice was devoted almost exclusively to representing indigents. John was a member of the Arlington County Bar Association since 1976, and served in every capacity on the Board of Directors as an Officer and Past President, in addition to serving as chairman of the courts committee for nearly 20 years. He served on the Alrington county Community Services Board where he assisted those who were suffering from mental illness/substance abuse. In 2008, John was awarded the prestigious Arlington County bar Foundation's William L. Winston Award for his long standing public service in the promotion of democratic ideals and the advancement of the rule of law. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte of Arlington, VA., Susan Perry (Frank) in Hamilton, Ohio and brother, Paul Youngs (Lynda) in Media, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his five nephews and two nieces. Visitation will be held at Murphy Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203 on Friday, March 7, 2014 from 2 to 3 PM with a service to follow at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Southern Center for Human Rights 83 Poplar St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30303. 404-688-4202 www.schr.org
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Mar. 5, 2014