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CURRAN, Eileen C. Watch Hill, RI Eileen C. Curran, age 93, a longtime resident of Watch Hill, RI and Palm Beach, FL, passed away on January 6, 2021 in Westerly, RI. Eileen was born in Brooklyn, NY to Irish immigrants, Patrick and Katherine Concannon. She showed early promise as a classical soprano and a scholar. At age 12, Eileen won a 21-and-under New York City-wide singing competition. Top entrance exam scores earned her a full academic scholarship to Brooklyn's Saint Saviour High School. Offered five full academic and music scholarships to college, Eileen chose Manhattanville College, from which she graduated. While at Manhattanville, she also pursued vocal music studies at Juilliard. Following graduation, Eileen joined the New York Central Railroad as a VIP Passenger Representative for its fabled 20th Century Limited and Empire State lines facilitating the long-distance travel needs of statesmen, captains of industry and Hollywood, at a time when contracts stipulated no travel by air. Her assignments included managing and accompanying the travel of such personalities as Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Truman, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Vivien Leigh, Spencer Tracy, Kirk Douglas, and Clark Gable, and various industry and sports legends. It was on one such trip that she met J. Joseph Curran, the future Canisius College basketball head coach of NCAA fame. They married in 1951, had four children, and made greater Amherst, NY their home until 1974. Eileen continued to sing, most notably in Buffalo's Schola Cantorum, which included her participation in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's production of Handel's Messiah under the direction of world-renowned conductor Josef Krips. When all four children were school age, she became a music teacher, first at Nottingham Academy of the Sacred Heart (later acquired by Nichols School), then in the Williamsville, NY Public Schools. Drawn to the lifelong impact of educating young children, Eileen acquired a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from The State University of New York at Buffalo. After relocating with her family to Wellesley, MA, Eileen served as a beloved member of the Weston Public Schools elementary education faculty. So engaged were her students that her quiet classroom door could usually remain open. Her retirement party drew an overflow gathering of grateful parents whose children by then were in college, as well as many of her former students. In retirement, dividing time between Watch Hill and Palm Beach, she became a literacy volunteer, and a public advocate and respected voice for improved Palm Beach quality of life, shoreline protection and dune restoration as a board member of The Coalition To Save Our Shoreline (SOS). Eileen was appointed as a board member on the first Palm Beach Shore Protection Board and served as a board member of the Citizens Association-South of Sloane's Curve. Predeceased in 2012 by her beloved husband of 61 years, Eileen is survived by their four children, Dorothy Curran (Bernard Roesch), Josephine, Maureen (Jane) and Peter, and three grandchildren, Jean-Philippe Roesch (Erica DiBenedetto), Eléonore Roesch (Robert Masino) and Anne-Claire Roesch. Funeral arrangements were private and handled by Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home. For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com In lieu of flowers, contributions in Eileen C. Curran's memory may be sent to The Westerly Hospital Foundation, 25 Wells Street, Westerly, RI 02891, www.westerlyhospital.org and The Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association, P.O. Box 1511, Westerly, RI 02891.

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Published in Boston Globe from Jan. 13 to Jan. 17, 2021.
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January 17, 2021
She is now resting in peace
Lorraine Butler
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