Donna Ruth Curran, 81, of Morongo Valley died Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Aaspen Village Care after a short battle with cancer. She was born November 3, 1931 in Newark, New Jersey, and was preceded in death by parents, Gerald Curran, and Lona (Pickens) Curran. Donna is survived by her step-son Scott (Donna) Smith, Mt. Prospect, Ill.; sister Constance Baldwin, Phoenix, Ariz.; cousin Joanna (John) Mitchell, London, Ohio; several nieces, nephews and grandchildren; and close friend and neighbor, Julie Christy, Morongo Valley, Calif. Donna was Godmother to many children. Donna also leaves many friends and colleagues in Morongo Valley and the Palm Springs area. She is best remembered as editor of the Desert Guide, the Palm Springs Visitors Guide and Historic Inns of Palm Springs, publications of Palm Springs Life Magazine for which she worked some 27 years. During her tenure at Palm Springs Life, Donna developed the Great Restaurants sections and its advertorial format which is still being used. Her gift of friendship, loyalty, tenacity, and optimism were the hallmarks of her life and work ethic. She moved to California in 1969 and to Morongo Valley in 1975, and joined Palm Springs Life in 1985. Born and raised in New Jersey, Donna was an editor at Ridge Press, Maco Magazine Corp., and Chanticleer Press in New York working on a variety of projects including cookbooks. She was picture editor for twelve magazines and edited profusely illustrated natural history and art books - "coffee table" books - prepared for major publishers and translated into 10 languages for European distribution. Before relocating to California, Donna was manager of the Foreign Rights Department for Chanticleer Press, responsible for contracts, liaison with authors and all foreign publishers for nine years. Her leisure interests included enjoying nature - especially feeding wild birds who populated her beloved Casa Curran garden in Morongo - her many dogs and cats, the performing arts, reading, and cooking for friends. Donna was a board member of the Les Dames d'Escoffier International, Palm Springs Chapter, and a member of Media Mavens, an organization of women professionals in the media. In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be sent in her honor to the Donna Curran Memorial Scholarship Fund, Les Dames d'Escoffier International, Palm Springs Chapter, 1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Ste. 5048, Palm Springs. Memorial services are private, but a Celebration of Life is being planned.
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Published in The Desert Sun on July 9, 2013