from the Kennebec Journal, ME
WEST GARDINER -- Virginia H. Curtis, 93, of West Gardiner passed away Feb. 28, 2004, in her home with family.
She was born in Abbott on Nov. 12, 1910, the third child of Frank Leslie Hescock and Nellie Pinkham.
Her family moved to West Gardiner when she was just 2, traveling from Abbott with all their belongings and livestock, four workhorses and cows, for two days by train. They purchased a farm on Hallowell-Litchfield Road, but Virginia always returned to her birthplace to visit and stay connected.
She graduated from Hallowell High School in 1927. In those days, it was very uncommon for women to go to college, and although she graduated at 17 with an honors part, she was already working for Central Maine Power Co. She met her husband, Howard F. Curtis, at a Grange dance while still in high school and married in 1928. He predeceased her in November 1975. Following the birth of her only child, Martha E. Curtis, they purchased the farm she lived the rest of her life in, just across the street from her parents.
Virginia's greatest love was working and contributing in the town in which she lived. She held the town clerk and excise tax collector positions for the town for 41 years, retiring from the town in 1985. She continued to work for the Cobbosseecontee Telephone and Telegraph Co. as a bookkeeper/bill collector until her retirement at age 88. She credited the company she worked for, and having the best boss in Roger Goodwin, for being able to work for so long, retiring after 53 years. After retiring from the town clerk position, she continued to hold the position of deputy town clerk and presided over each election ballot box, including last November's election at age 92, working a 12-hour shift.
Her faith and membership in Old South Congregational Church of Hallowell was a big part of her life. She served the church in many ways as secretary and choir member, and she attended Monday night Bible study classes. She was an active member of Cobbosseecontee Grange 100, holding many offices until the Grange closed. She was a member of the Cacklers Club, a bridge club that met weekly for many years. She missed playing cards with her dear friends, and in November she played again at the Cohen Center. She was a member of the Rainbow Club at Cohen. Her hobbies included gardening, animals, birds and mostly people. She loved being around people, playing cards, watching a Red Sox ballgame, eating pie with ice cream or just going for a ride in the car.
She enriched all of our lives and will be missed by her family, with whom she lived -- granddaughter Nena and husband Bill; great-grandchildren Bill, Jennah and Dan Cunningham; and faithful dog Katadin -- as well as her daughter, Marte Curtis of West Gardiner; her granddaughter Ginger Roberts and husband John Scott; and great-grandchildren Sam, Ben and Marissa Dice, and Jackson, Connor and Tarynne Scott of West Gardiner. Virginia is also survived by her dear sister, Arlene Quilici of Simi Valley, Calif., and her dear brother, Francis Hescock and his wife, Jean, of Dallas, Texas, and their families. She leaves many nieces, nephews and friends.
Visiting hours will be 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 5, at Staples Funeral Home, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner. celebration of her life will occur at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, with a reception following in the vestry.
Flowers may be sent to the funeral home, but at one's preference. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Old South Congregational Church. Spring burial will occur at Fairbanks Cemetery in West Gardiner.