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Helen Curtin Burger

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BURGER, Helen Curtin Helen Curtin Burger, 99, passed away at home in Savannah on April 19, 2014. Helen was born on December 24, 1914, in Needles, California, to Caroline Mann Curtin and Frederick Antes Curtin. At the time of her birth, her father was working for the Santa Fe Railroad Company. He thought he would like to raise cattle and came to Georgia to look at a piece of property, which turned out not to be suitable. He liked Georgia and took a job as shop foreman with the Southern Railroad Company in Atlanta, where he worked until his retirement in 1948. Helen was the oldest of six children and grew up attending public schools in the Capitol View neighborhood of southwest Atlanta. In 1930, when she was fifteen years old, her mother died and Helen went to live with her aunt, Christine Mann Butler, and three cousins in Downey, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. There she finished two years of high school and her first year of college. Her father then remarried and Helen returned to Atlanta. For three years, she attended the University of Georgia in Athens, graduating in 1937 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in education. She taught school for several years in various small Georgia towns, including Maysville and Watkinsville. During the summers, she worked as a counselor in Campfire Girls of America Camps in Toccoa, GA, Kansas City, MO, and Hanson, MA. During World War II, Helen returned to Atlanta and worked for Eastern Airlines for five years. In 1946, she married Rufus Burger with whom she had two sons. When her boys started school, she attended Emory University to renew her teaching credential. She then taught fourth grade at S. R. Young School in College Park until her retirement in 1974. After the death of her husband, Rufus, in 1996, she continued to live in the Spencer Square Community in Fayetteville, GA, until January of 2011, when she moved to Savannah to live with her son John and daughter-in-law Gabriela. Helen's parents were founding members of the Capitol View Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and she remained an active member of Presbyterian Churches throughout her lifetime, maintaining her membership in the College Park Presbyterian Church until her death. She is preceded in death by her husband of fifty years; her parents; her stepmother, Flora B. Curtin; sisters, Virginia Curtin and Christine Fallin; brothers, Fred Curtin, Jr., James Curtin, and Reesman Curtin. She is survived by sons John R. Burger (Gabriela) of Savannah and Frederick C. Burger of Anniston, AL; sisters-in-law, Ruth Curtin and Betty Curtin of Seattle, WA; and numerous nieces and nephews. Details regarding a memorial service to be held at the College Park Presbyterian Church in the Atlanta area are pending. Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel, Savannah, GA
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Apr. 21 to Apr. 23, 2014
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