Dorothy Smith Curtis
1928 - 2020
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November 24, 1928 - November 16, 2020 Dorothy Smith Curtis passed away peacefully November 16, 2020, just shy of her 92nd birthday, at home and surrounded by family. She is survived by her five children, Philip Curtis III, Anne Knapp, Peter Curtis, Marion Usselman and Alan Curtis, and their spouses, nine grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband Philip C. Curtis Jr., and two grandsons.Dot was born in Auburn, Massachusetts, the youngest child of Denton and Helen Smith. She grew up in West Brattleboro, Vermont and though she lived in, and loved, Los Angeles for 65 years, at heart she was always a Vermonter. She graduated from Pembroke College in 1950 with a BA in Mathematics and married fellow math major Phil Curtis, so beginning a loving partnership that lasted for more than 67 years. They moved to Los Angeles in 1955, with a growing family and a job for Phil at UCLA. Over the next six decades they embarked on adventures around the world-from backpacking in the Sierras, to spending years in Denmark, enjoying operas in Santa Fe, and visiting cherished family haunts in Vermont and Maine. Phil provided energetic inspiration. Dot was the glue that held it all together. In 1970 Dot earned her teaching credential and began a 30-year career teaching parent education for the LAUSD. She relished working with mothers and young children from all over the world. They taught her their cultures, and she helped mothers raise their children with love, consistency and exposure to ideas and learning, sharing with others what she brought to her family and friends. She lived her life and approached her death with grace, courage and good humor. We will miss her tremendously.The family would like donations and memorials to be directed toward The UCLA Curtis Center at

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2020.
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