Beth Curtis moved to San Francisco after college


Beth Curtis (1956 - 2024)

The family of Beth Ann Curtis is saddened to announce her sudden passing on April 19, 2024 at San Francisco Kaiser after a long period of declining health.

Beth, 67, was the first daughter born to the late Daniel Carr Curtis Jr. and Carol (Tiede) Curtis Seaton on October 31, 1956. Beth loved celebrating her birthday dressed up in her Halloween costume for the party at school along with trick-or-treating that night! She grew up in small town Rockton, Illinois, graduating from Hononegah High School in 1975. From an early age she had a passion for reading and drawing. She enjoyed playing the organ. As one of seven, majority ruled and Beth got corralled along on trips to the grocery store, music lessons, and group ice skating lessons. She absolutely hated ice skating and struggled to lace up the skates! It was a swim or sink situation and the only reason she didn't sink was because the water was frozen! She had many close friends who appreciated her sharp wit and adventurous spirit. 

Beth attended Rock Valley College for a year, then transferred to Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she studied sociology -  no surprise given her interest in fairness and diversity along with a desire to travel, passport already in hand. Beth often retreated to her room, being an avid reader, influenced by books such as The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan when she was an adolescent. She boldly moved to San Francisco after college and worked a variety of jobs that included insurance, legal services, eventually began taking paralegal coursework.

Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, when she was just 30, Beth was involved in a DUI hit and run accident while crossing the street on her way to buy extra Christmas cards. She loved writing cards and never forgot birthdays. We teased her about always writing in pencil, even the envelopes! She recovered from the accident but had difficulty working. 

Beth appreciated the ocean, plants, and birds of the Bay Area. She loved good eats, particularly phở in recent years. She ate healthy and knew a lot about nutrition. She was a loving aunt to her nieces and nephew in Redwood City, where she spent holidays in the early years of their lives until they moved away. She didn't need a car nor want a television. She lived within her means, rarely asking for help but always willing to help others. She was an armchair traveler through trips others shared and hoped to visit Yosemite soon. The arts and culture in the Bay Area seemed to satisfy some of her yearning and she was grateful for that. 

She relocated to warm and sunny Oakland close to beautiful Lake Merritt where she spent a lot with her dear friend Juan Carlos Hearn. Later, she settled into charming Alameda where she enjoyed community gardening and mingling with others. Beth was thoughtful, soft spoken, a good listener. She loved talking on the phone and her mother looked forward to their weekly calls. She had a quirky sense of humor. She could be stubborn. She worried about those less fortunate than herself. She proudly walked in The Women's March in January 2017 in Oakland, CA. 

She was spiritual, sentimental. Upon her death, her first communion dress was discovered tucked away for safekeeping. She saved every letter and card. Ironically, Humpty Dumpty from childhood was still on her shelf, a reminder that some things can never be brought back or repaired. Beth courageously advocated for herself for years, often feeling invisible in the healthcare system. She was a survivor in every sense until the day she died, truly leaving her heart in San Francisco.

Beth is survived by mother Carol Lee Seaton of Roscoe, Illinois; three brothers: Daniel Curtis III, Lee Curtis, and Bill Curtis; three sisters: Carla Curtis-Klinger (Drew), Jill Johnson (Keith), Jan Curtis-Tollestrup (Carl); four stepsiblings: Merry Beth (Bill Lynes), Clarruth Anne (Greer Barriault), Catherine Sweeney, and Fred Seaton (Beth); four nieces and nephew: Marin Jane Klinger, and Lara, Lena and Bryce Kosinski.

Beth was predeceased by father Daniel Carr Curtis Jr; stepfather Clarence Seaton, and stepbrother Charles Seaton.

A private family memorial will be held July 5, 2024.

In lieu of flowers or donation, reach out and give someone you care about a call today. That's what Beth would have done.

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