On October 13, 2023, Pat Curran passed away from pneumonia, a complication from a stroke he suffered three years earlier. He died how he lived, with good manners, a sense of humor, and surrounded by family. He was 86 years old.
Pat was born in Portland, Oregon, to Kathryn Clohessy and Daniel Edward Curran. Though raised mostly in Portland, Pat lived in eastern Oregon his first four years, which left him with a deep affection for the region that lasted his entire life.
Pat attended St. Rose Elementary School and later Columbia Prep High School, where he met a group of friends who have stayed connected to this day. On a high school ski trip in 1954, Pat met Judith Lynne Fitch from Lincoln High School. They married in 1957 and never looked back. Despite spending most of his first year at University of Portland honing his ping-pong skills, Pat graduated from UP with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He received his professional license in 1965 and his master’s degree in 1972 from Oregon State University.
Twelve years at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality instilled in Pat a deep sense of public service and social responsibility. Following eight years at a private firm, he started his own company with Curt McLeod in 1983. Curran-McLeod, Inc., specializes in wastewater management for rural communities in Oregon. Clatskanie, Sheridan, Roads End, Arch Cape, Estacada, Sandy, Dayville, and Canyon City are just a few of the communities that continue to benefit from Pat’s expertise, professionalism, encouragement, and friendship. Pat earned the Individual Distinguished Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Control Association in 1988. He stayed abreast of current industry technologies (and, by the way, fashion and music trends) long after most of his colleagues had retired. He made it a priority to mentor the next generation, from teaching continuing-education courses to hiring new graduates. Pat’s decades-long work at Timberline Lodge was a highlight of his career, honoring family connections as well as his great love for Oregon. Pat had a long and flourishing career for over 60 years, until he retired at age 80.
As devoted to his work as he was, Pat was even more devoted to his family. He had three beloved kids—Cathy, Chrissy, and Tim—but his role as father expanded to his brothers-in-law and other family members and close friends, to whom he offered guidance and stability. Pat believed strongly in “showing up,” and that is what he did, for his family and friends, his whole life.
He will be remembered for his piercing Irish blue eyes, his love of jazz and airplanes and good coffee and warm sunshine. He had a walking gait so distinctive you could spot him a mile down the beach, his pockets full of agates. His passionate letters to local politicians were epic, as was his homemade ice cream, and the number of speeding tickets he collected over the years. He was an avid athlete and a killer ping-pong player. He served as captain of the “Curran Basketball Association,” and reveled in the excitement of the Trail Blazers' 1977 NBA championship season. Pat had a beautiful singing voice and whistled while he cooked. He loved his backyard, Mom’s flowers, good books, and Gravenstein apples from the farmers market. He adored his cats.
Pat is survived by his wife Judy, his daughters Cathy Curran (Kurt Stahl) and Chrissy Curran (JR Vanderburg), his son Tim Curran (Amy Forstadt), step-grandchildren, his devoted caregivers, sister Ann Curran, close nieces and nephews, and close brothers-in-law and sister-in-law. His brother, Gary Curran, predeceased him in 2017.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, October 27th, 2023, at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Portland. Pat will be laid to rest in a private interment at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Portland. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Pat’s name to University of Portland (www.up.edu) and Santé D’Or Foundation cat adoption center in Los Angeles, CA (www.santedor.org/donate).