Joseph “Joe” Francis Curran, Sr.
Joseph Francis Curran, Sr., WWII Veteran dies at age 95.
A longtime resident of Cape Coral, Florida, passed away on April 4, 2019, Joe, as everyone knew him, died peacefully at home surrounded by his children in the early morning hours. He was born in Brooklyn, USA, in 1923. He was the eldest of three, having two sisters, Florence and Dorothy, who predeceased him. His life began in the golden age of the roaring twenties.
Joe grew up in the heyday of the New York Yankees, his favorite team for life. His heroes, legendary Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, along with his father, Joes Sr;, inspired him to play the game himself, and he loved it. He played throughout his youth, often coached by his Dad who he always said was his greatest hero. He lived in Brooklyn through the depression. His family, thankfully, was largely unaffected at the time when so many Americans struggled, thanks to Dad’s uninterrupted employment with the Hushabye Baby Carriage Company.
At age of 20, Joe was drafted into the Army. He served proudly, as a paratrooper in the Philippines. He was a gregarious guy who made friends easily and was known to break out in song without warning. The war, while tragic, would be remembered as one of the greatest experiences of his life. He carried the memory of lost comrades while maintaining friendships, forged under fire, that would last the rest of his life. He was wounded by grenade shrapnel, for which he received the Purple Heart.
Soon after his return from the war, he met Dorothea Blind at a bowling alley. According to his story, he saw her from afar and said to his friend, “I’m going to marry that girl”. On February 22, 1948, his prediction came true. They were married and remained so for 55 years until Dorothea’s death in 2003. Their life and family began in Queens, NY. They would eventually have six children; five were born in Queens. When the 5th child arrived, they decided they’d finally outgrown their apartment. In the fall of 1958, they packed up and moved to Long Island, Levittown, NY which had been built specifically for the purpose of fulfilling the housing needs of veterans from WWII.
Joe always described himself as a simple working man, driving a bus for a living with Carey Transportation. He ferried travelers from Kennedy Airport to Manhattan for 25 years never having even a fender bender in all that time. Though a simple bus driver, he was never really a “simple working man”. In 1969, he became active in local politics, a member of the conservative party, fighting for various issues. In fact, he ran for the assembly and the state senate twice, knowing he had little chance of victory but believing it was his duty to bring attention to issues he believed in.
Joe became an important leader of the Nassau County Conservative Party. He created a newsletter for his party, cutting and pasting it together on the family’s dining room table. He supported Alfonse D’Amato for senator of New York before anyone thought this possible. D’Amato won that year. He was very close to Representative Peter King, a friendship he would maintain for the rest of his life. He was a passionate writer during those years.
Joe wrote letters to the editor on a plethora of topics. He published many hundreds of times in various newspapers from Newsday on Long Island to the Catskill Mountain News in his early retirement, and ultimately in the News Press and the Cape Coral Breeze in his later years. He developed quite a fan base. Often, when his son, Joe Jr; introduced himself to someone, they would say, “Are you the guy that writes all the letters to the editor?”, Joe Jr. would say proudly, “No, that’s my Father”.
To our family, “Father” was Joe Curran’s most important role. He raised six of us, Joseph, Mary Ann, Dorothy, Tommy, Kevin and Cathy, the baby whom he often referred to as, “Kitten”. He coached baseball teams, taught the girls how to dance and taught us all to drive. He passed his love of song on to all of us. When in the car, the radio never came on. We would sing all the way to Grandma’s house. Old songs, and especially, patriotic songs.
Joe Curran was the consummate, card carrying American and we loved him for it.
God Bless you Dad.
May you enjoy the rest you so greatly deserve after your 95 years of service.
We love you! Rest now in Peace.