James T. Curtis
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Founding Partner, Goldman & Curtis, P.C. Loving Father and Grandfather
LOWELL, MA -- James T. Curtis, a lifelong resident of Lowell, MA, died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, aged 90 years. He was the beloved husband of the late Kleanthe (Dusopol) Curtis, with whom he shared 62 years of marriage.
Born in Lowell, July 8, 1923, the son of Theodore and Maria (Souliotis) Koutras. Mr. Curtis graduated with honors from Lowell High School in 1941, where he was President of the Greenhalge Debating Society. He was named Massachusetts Oratory titlist in 1941, and was a Lt. Colonel in the Cadet Officers Corps of the Lowell High School Regiment.
James entered the University of Michigan in 1941. His education was interrupted when he enlisted in the United States Army in December, 1942. He trained with the 10th Mountain Division, Camp Hale, Colorado, and was deployed to Italy for active duty in 1943. He was a sergeant with the 110th Signal, and attended Cryptanalysis School in Italy. In 1945, he was transferred to the 430th Counter Intelligence Corps as a Special Agent, serving in Italy and Austria. He was awarded three Battle Star Ribbons and a Good Conduct Medal upon his honorable discharge in March of 1946. He completed his studies at the University of Michigan in 1948, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. He was President of the Delta Epsilon Pi Fraternity in 1947; President of the French Club; a Member of the Michigan Young Democrats Club; and a Member of the Michigan Debating Team.
Mr. Curtis entered Harvard Law School and graduated in 1951 with a Juris Doctorate Degree. He was a Member of the Harvard Law School Democratic Club; a Member of the King's Bench Fraternity; and a Member of the Student Bar Association.
James married his late wife Kleanthe, on June 25, 1950, while a student in his final year at Harvard.
Mr. Curtis was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1951 and worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1952-1953. He went into private law practice in Lowell in 1953, and joined the law firm of Frank H. Goldman in 1957, which later became the law firm of Goldman & Curtis, P.C. He practiced law for over 60 years, until his untimely death.
He was a Trustee at Lowell Technical Institute from 1963-1972, and was appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1969-1972. He was instrumental in bringing about changes to create the merger with the University of Massachusetts educational system to create University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He was a Member of the Board of Higher Education, Massachusetts, from 1967-1972. Elected as a Commissioner of the City of Lowell Charter Commission in 1969, he worked to adopt the City Manager form of government for Lowell. Attorney Curtis was a member of the Lowell/Boston, Middlesex County, Massachusetts and American Bar Associations; Massachusetts Trail Lawyers Association, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and was listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and Who's Who in American Law. He was a decorated Knight of the Orthodox Crusade of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, a past President of the AHEPA Greek organization of Lowell, and a lifelong member of the Holy Trinity Hellenic Orthodox Church of Lowell.
Mr. Curtis travelled extensively throughout the United States and Europe with family and friends. He was an avid reader, and for several years hosted a radio program with his lifelong friend, University of Massachusetts Professor Charles Ziavras, at WCAP in Lowell, where they discussed literature and book reviews. One of his more memorable interviews was with his friend, the late Jack Kerouac.
James enjoyed spending time with all his boyhood friends and families who grew up in the Acre section of Lowell, and spent many hours debating at the former Tatsios Restaurant on Dummer Street. He was an avid sports follower, with baseball and football being his two passions, especially the Boston Red Sox, Michigan Wolverines and Harvard Crimson.
He is survived by five children and six grandchildren; daughters Madelon and her husband Stephen H. Harper of Aptos, California, and Stephanie and her husband Fredric W. Harman of Woodside, California and their three children, Kirsten E., Stephen F. and Allison S.; and sons Theodore J. Curtis and his wife Cathy Curtis of Merrimack, New Hampshire and their son, James; Atty. Gregory T. Curtis and his wife Kimberley Lord Curtis of Lowell; and Atty. James T. Curtis, Jr. of New York City and his children, Margaret K. and Henry R. He was the brother of the late Elizabeth (Koutras) Tsapatsaris.
CURTIS -- In Lowell, September 25, 2013. James T. Curtis, lifelong resident of Lowell, aged 90 years. Friends will be received at the MORSE-BAYLISS Funeral Home, 122 Princeton Boulevard, Lowell, on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. His funeral service will be at the Holy Trinity Hellenic Orthodox Church, 25 Lewis St., Lowell, on Wednesday, at 10:00 a.m. Relatives and friends respectfully invited. Interment in Westlawn Cemetery, Lowell, with a ceremony of Military Funeral Honors performed by the Walker Rogers Post 662 Veterans of Foreign War Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to:
- Part the Cloud, 1060 La Avenida, Mountain View, CA 94043 (online at www.alz.org/partthecloud/); to the Elizabeth K. Tsapatsaris Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Lowell Adult Education Center, 408 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA 01854; or, to the Hellenic American Academy, 41 Broadway St., Lowell, MA 01854. Funeral Directors, Frederick W. Healy and Walter F. Bayliss Jr. Please visit Mr. Curtis' memorial tribute at www.morsebaylissfuneralhome.com.
Morse-Bayliss Funeral Home - Lowell
122 Princeton Boulevard Lowell, MA 01851
Published in Lowell Sun on Sept. 29, 2013