Nora Belle Curran

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July 14, 1911-April 8, 2013

Nora Belle Curran passed away after a brief illness on April 8, 2013. Nora Belle was born in Tacoma, Washington, the youngest of the four children born into the loving and supportive family of Lloyd and Eunice Heflin. After attending elementary school in Tacoma, her parents moved to Los Angeles to ensure that she and her siblings could attend college despite the challenges of the Great Depression. There, Nora Belle attended middle and high school and UCLA. She taught in Bellflower for two years before going to New York for graduate work at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her area of particular interest was demonstration teaching and teacher training. Most of her teaching was on the college level, supervising student teachers in training at UCLA and UCSB. She also taught at Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School at UCLA and Hope Elementary School in Santa Barbara. Her love of learning continued after retirement as she developed The Little Acorn organic plant nursery in Isla Vista, quenched her thirst for Dickens at Cambridge University, and practiced her newly acquired Spanish language skills in Spain. Nora Belle spent many wonderful years at Vista del Monte Retirement Community and she and her family were so grateful for the wonderful care that she received there. Nora Belle married Harold Clayton Curran and had three children; Susan Curran Montgomery, Steven Heflin Curran, and Sally Curran. It was her greatest sorrow that she lost her oldest child, Susan (married to Patrick Montgomery), in 1997. In addition to her surviving children, Steve Curran (BJ) and Sally Curran (Keith DeConde), Nora Belle also leaves 5 grandchildren: Brian Montgomery (Nicole), Dennis Montgomery (Cori), Drew Curran, Deidre Pleasant (Mike), and KC Montgomery (Corbin) and 5 great-grandchildren: Aidan, Patrick, Ty, Clayton Montgomery, and Adelaide Pleasant. Even though her voice no longer remains on earth, her teachings continue. She was above all an independent woman with a gentle soul, a great listener, a positive and loyal mentor, an advocate for strong family ties, an inspiration to many, a creator of projects that motivated others to get on board, a promoter for community involvement, a fountain of understanding, and, sometimes, a "tough cookie". There will always be an empty chair at our table for our wonderful Mom and Grandma. Our family wishes to express supreme gratitude to all of the staff and caregivers at Vista del Monte, Hospice, and the Visiting Nurse Association. Per Nora Belle's wishes, burial will be at sea where her daughter rests.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Apr. 21 to Apr. 25, 2013
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