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Walter D. "Pa" Curran

Obituary
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Griswold - Walter D. "Pa" Curran, 79, of 80 Sheldon Road, Griswold, formerly a longtime resident of Preston, died Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at The William W. Backus Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Norwich, on Sept. 22, 1933, the youngest child of Paul A. and Albina M. (Guilbeault) Curran.

He was predeceased by three brothers, John, Frank, and William Curran and three sisters, Mary Haubrich, Helen Watters, and Anne Murphy.

On Oct. 15, 1955, he was united in marriage to Betty-Jo Bushnell of Yantic, at Sacred Heart Church in Norwichtown, by the late Rev. Francis Lawler.

Mr. Curran attended Norwich elementary schools and graduated from Norwich Free Academy in the class of 1951.

His career covered various areas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves in October 1950 during the Korean War. After graduation from NFA in 1951, he was on active duty first in the submarine service, then in the amphibious fleet on the USS Carpellotti APD-136, which was the high speed transport that carried the U.S. Navy Seals for various operations, mainbrace and longstep invasions, and finally as an assault boat coxwain upon his discharge from the Navy in 1954. He worked at Lehigh Petroleum in Norwich as a driver, serviceman, dispatcher, credit manager, and data processing manager for many years.

He then became a vice president at the First New Haven National Bank in charge of data processing for 125 fuel oil clients in the northeast. In 1974, he worked as a national technical manager for Petro-Data Inc. of Princeton, N.J., where he worked with oil, gasoline, and propane clients throughout the United States and Canada as a consultant to the industry with major oil companies. In 1984, Mr. Curran and a partner purchased Smith Bros. Fuel Co. in Taftville, and he served as president until it was sold in 1991, as he was seeking retirement. Following a brief period of retirement, he worked at Foxwoods Casino as a slot attendant, slot supervisor, assistant slot shift manager, and shift manager of slots until September 1998.

Walt was an avid local golfer and pitched horse shoes for many years in the New London County Horseshoe League. He was also a ten pin bowler locally for 30 years and played softball in various leagues until 1999. In his retirement years, he worked at River Ridge Golf Course and Labenski Funeral Home. He was a life member of the Preston City Volunteer Fire Co., president of the USS Carpellotti-APD-136 Assoc., and a longtime member and Eucharistic Minister of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Preston.

Surviving are his wife, Betty-Jo; four daughters, Jacalyn Yonts and her husband, Douglas Walworth, Susan Bialowas and her husband, Stanley, Jo-Ellen Fleming, and Beth Garver and her husband, Dusty; also 11 grandchildren, Jennifer Crook and Elizabeth Yonts, Dennis, Thomas, Jessica, and Elizabeth Bialowas, Ambry and Adam Fleming, Julia, Regan, and Sydney Garver; four great-grandchildren, Taylor, Trystan, Alivia, and Brady; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Labenski Funeral Home, 107 Boswell Ave., Norwich. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Route 164, Preston, meeting directly at the church. Interment will follow in St. Thomas Cemetery, Voluntown, with military honors.

His request is that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his memory to either Preston City Volunteer Fire Co., 412 Route 164, Preston, CT 06365 or to ECHO Cancer Foundation, 330 Washington St., Norwich, CT 06360.
Published in The Day on Jan. 9, 2013
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