Eleanor Elizabeth Curtin
Fitchburg-Our beautiful mom, Eleanor Ryan Curtin, 93, of Madison passed away on Monday, February 3, 2014 peacefully at home, right where she wanted, surrounded by her family.
Eleanor was born May 13, 1920, the daughter of Dr. Frank and Loretto (Carbery) Ryan in Chicago IL. She had 4 brothers who preceded her in death, Frank, Jack, Bob and Paul Ryan.
Eleanor attended high school at Loretta Academy in Chicago and went on to Chicago Teachers College and received her teaching degree in 1942. She was a kindergarten teacher in Chicago until her marriage. She married William J. Curtin II on October 2, 1944 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Chicago, IL. She and Bill settled in Madison, WI, in a house built by Bill shaped like a phone receiver. Eleanor and Bill had seven children and lived in this home across from Westmorland Park until 1988 when they moved to Seminole Village.
She was the cofounder and President of Telephone Answering Service in Madison, WI until the mid-1990’s. Eleanor served as a past President of the Wisconsin Telephone Answering Service Association. She was the Chairwoman of the Board of Amtelco in McFarland, WI from 2001 until her death. Her large extended family of Amtelco “ducks” remembered her with hundreds of cards and letters over the last few months.
Eleanor and Bill were founding members of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison, WI. Eleanor was awarded the Commendation of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope John Paul II in 1997 in recognition of service to the church in the Diocese of Madison. This is the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Pope. Eleanor and Bill had a very special friendship with many priests in the diocese, including Fr. Bill Connell, Fr. Tom Doheny, Msgr. Mike Hippee, Msgr. Ken Fiedler, and especially the deceased Most Reverend Bishop William Bullock and Rev. Art Koth.
They were very active in numerous charities in Madison as well as their personal philanthropy, including delivering toys to sick children at St. Mary’s Hospital at Christmas time, donating the first computers to Edgewood High School as well as all parochial schools in Madison. Eleanor for the past few years focused on helping fund the Catholic Multicultural Center.
Bill and Eleanor enjoyed traveling, visiting family in Ireland, a special trip to the Vatican, the Holy Land, and spending time with family and friends at their home in Florida. Mom spent many winters in the Naples/Bonita Springs area where she enjoyed growing her orchids on her lanai and entertaining all who wanted a winter break. Many came especially to attend the fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day parties.
The family is very grateful to Sarah Short who was a great friend of mom’s in Florida. Eleanor loved reading, growing flowers, watching the birds on her feeders, and spending time with all of her family. She gave up many activities just to be available when family came to visit.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her husband Bill in 2001, son Joe in 1985, and granddaughter Molly Torvik in 1985.
Eleanor is survived by her children: Laurie (Bernie) Torvik, Bill (Debbie) Curtin, Betty (Ed) Gurza, Tom (Mary) Curtin, Nora (Jeff) Farber and Peggy Curtin. Eleanor’s grandchildren: Bart (Laura) Torvik, Brady (Elin) Torvik, Brian Torvik, Brett (Jessa) Torvik, Bill (Amy) Curtin, Seija(Tiffani)Curtin, Katelyn Curtin, Lisa Gurza, Edward Gurza, Allison Gurza, Colleen Curtin, Erica (Bob) Lancaster, Joey Curtin, Meaghan Farber, Ryan Farber, Christina Farber, DJ Hogan, Ben Hogan and Bridget Hogan and Eleanor’s great-grandchildren: Max Torvik, Ivy and Julia Torvik, Kaia Torvik, Erin and Cassidy Curtin and Jacob Curtin-Feucht. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Marilyn Ryan, and many nieces and nephews.
Because Eleanor’s brother Jack passed away at an early age, Uncle Bill and Aunt Eleanor had a very special relationship with their nieces and nephews, especially Cathy (Tom) and Kevin Ryan.
Mom had incredible wisdom and was such a huge supporter of and mentor to her family. She was our rock. She had an amazing life with her large Irish family, knowing great sorrow and experiencing immeasurable joy. She will be warmly welcomed by Bill, Joe, Molly, as well as her parents, brothers and Aunt Bernadine who was like a sister to her, into heaven. May she rest in peace and not be kept too busy helping us!
The family would like to thank our wonderful caregivers, especially Melissa and the South Team from Agrace Hospice as well as our private caregivers, Kelsey and her team that came to Mom and family giving loving care and needed rest. The kindness and compassion you showed our mother was always above and beyond.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 401 S. Owen Drive, Madison at 11 am, on Tuesday Feb. 11th, 2014, with Monsignor Ken Fiedler, Monsignor Mike Hippee, and Father Bill Connell presiding. A Wake will also be held at Our Lady Queen of Peace on Monday Feb. 10th, 2014 from 5pm to 8pm. As well there will be a visitation from 10am to 11am before the Mass.
In Lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the Queen of Peace Endowment Fund or the Catholic Multicultural Center.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Service 2418 N Sherman Ave 608-249-8257
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