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1920 - 2014 |
Thomas F. Curtin
July 28, 1920 - May 21, 2014
The Honorable Judge Thomas F. (Tom) Curtin, a lifetime resident of Contra Costa County, passed away at home in Walnut Creek on May 21, 2014. He was 93. An attorney and judge for over 50 years, he was born in Richmond, California, July 28, 1920, to Thomas Curtin and Mame (Sheehan) Curtin, both natives of Ireland. He attended Roosevelt Junior High, where he was President of the Student Body, and graduated from Richmond High School in 1938, where he was President of the graduating class. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1942. He was a Staff Sergeant in the US Army during
World War II
. He graduated from The University of San Francisco School of Law in 1954 and was admitted to the California Bar Association in 1955.
Tom practiced law first as a Deputy District Attorney in Contra Costa County, and later formed the Connolly & Curtin law firm in the Richmond/San Pablo area. While serving as a Deputy District Attorney he became President of the Richmond Bar Association. While in private practice he became a charter member of the San Pablo
and its second president.
He met his wife Verna May Tait in court in Martinez where she was a court reporter for Judge Norman Gregg. They made their home initially in Lafayette, then in El Cerrito for many years, and moved to Rossmoor in the late 1980's. Although Tom and Verna had no children, they were both close to Tom's nieces Laura Curtin and Beth Nuccio, and Verna's nephews, Chuck, Carter and Steven Corbitt, the children of Verna's sister, Claire Corbitt. Verna Curtin passed away in November, 1991.
Judge Curtin's interests were travel, golf, learning, and ballroom dancing. He and Verna traveled extensively in Europe, and Tom took summer courses in law at Oxford in England, and in Dublin, Ireland, Paris, France and in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
After his retirement from the bench, he was a member of the California Judges Association, and worked as an assigned judge by the Judicial Council in counties throughout California for many years.
Tom was given a Certificate of Appreciation for his many years of service as a judge from the California State Supreme Court and the California State Bar. He was awarded commendations for his service by being selected Man of the Year in 1975 by the San Pablo Exchange Club and received commendations from the city of San Pablo, the State Assembly, the Senate of California, and California's Representatives to the United States Congress.
During his practice of law, Judge Curtin performed much pro bono work for charitable organizations and groups, helped form the Contra Costa Association for the Mentally Retarded, and was instrumental in helping many people without the financial means to have legal services.
Judge Curtin was a true gentleman, a man of intellect who loved the law. Quiet in nature, but with an easy smile, he was a friend to many, and a giving uncle to his nieces and nephews. In his later years, he had many friends both from his ballroom dancing group, and a group he would convene with regularly at Pete's Coffee in Walnut Creek to share conversation and thoughts of the day. His devoted companion is Caryl Adams of Rossmoor, Walnut Creek. She and Tom were together for the past eight years, and she was by his side during his last illness, along with his nieces and nephews, Laura Curtin, Carter and Linda Corbitt, and Steven and Lexie Corbitt.
A service will be held on June 27th at 10:00 a.m. in the Main Mausoleum Chapel at the Mountain View cemetery in Oakland, California. Donations can be made on behalf of Judge Curtin to the
Published in Contra Costa Times on June 8, 2014
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