James C. Curran passed away peacefully on March 17, 2023. He was born on June 13, 1941 to Francis and Rosemary Curran in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Jim will be remembered for his integrity; quiet, thoughtful manner; and his passion for education and serving the community.
As a father and friend, Jim always made sure everyone was well taken care of and was willing to help anyone who needed an extra hand. Hard work and perseverance were encouraged as well as a great sense of humor. He took great pride in his family, his home and occasionally a sporty car.
His parting words with every good bye hug were “be good” with a gentle smile and a pat on the back. Two little words carried so much meaning over the years. They could be interpreted differently based on the situation at hand and his tone of voice. Sometimes it truly meant be good, other times it meant be happy, do your best with what’s going on, stay positive, or I love you more than I can ever express in words.
Jim and Mary got married in 1963. They made quite the team over the years, supporting each other in their individual endeavors while working together on others like March of Dimes, Wisconsin Business Education Association, Next Door Theatre and Harlequin Players. A favorite memory is the many October evenings spent at the Haunted House on Lime Kiln surrounded by multiple Green Bay area high school groups who created and hosted individual rooms as a March of Dimes fundraiser.
He earned a bachelor’s degree (UW-Madison) and a master’s degree (UW-Eau Claire). During his 30 plus year tenure with the Green Bay Area Public School District, Jim made many friends with the same vision and drive to help students in the classroom and beyond. His teaching career started at Preble High School before moving to Southwest High School where he led the Business Education and Cooperative Office Occupations Programs for many years. He enjoyed establishing relationships with local Green Bay businesses and connecting students with career opportunities. He was also the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) faculty advisor and a Scholarships Inc board member. Jim was humbled and honored to be named as the district’s outstanding senior high teacher for the 1981-1982 school year.
As the school district’s first Executive Director of Purchasing, Jim he was actively involved in many school renovations and new builds as Green Bay’s need for more school space grew. During renovations he was excited to talk about efforts to preserve the past while ensuring schools were ready for the future - an uncovered mural, unblocked windows to bring light into a once dark space, sourcing brick and mortar to match the current structure or repurposing an old chalkboard frame were all important aesthetic elements bonding the past to the future.
Jim’s passing was preceded by his wife, Mary L Curran, in February 2020; his parents, Francis and Rosemary (nee Reidy) Curran; and several cherished aunts and uncles. He is survived by his children, Susan Buechel (Alan) and Nick Curran; grandchildren, Alaina (Aaron), Jack (Ellyn), Sarah, Molly, Evan, Colin (Abi) and Nolan; great granddaughter, Aoife; sisters, Maureen, Kathy (Jim), Mary Jane (Roger), Clare and Debbie; as well as many nieces and nephews, extended family and friends who all meant so much to him.
In honor of Jim, remember to be good.
A joint celebration of life for Jim and Mary Curran will be held at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, 2600 Larsen Rd, Green Bay on Saturday, June 10, 2023, from 1-3 pm.