Herwood “Zeke” Curtiss formerly of New London, NH passed away on April 30, 2012, at Woodlawn Nursing Home, Newport, NH. Born in Lebanon, NH on April 7, 1923, the son of Edwin J. and Susie E (Hubbard) Curtiss.
Best known as a teacher, he taught mathematics and music for 36 years at New London High school and Kearsarge Regional High School. He was the first NH teacher to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence for Mathematics, by President Reagan at the White House. He donated that award to Kearsarge Regional High School to implement purchasing the school’s first computers, where a room is named after him. He also taught mathematics at NHTI in Concord, NH during his retirement.
A lifelong student, Mr. Curtiss graduated from Keene State Teachers College in 1948 and then received masters degrees in both mathematics and education from UMO. Zeke had a passion for music, having been a concert violinist, and playing baritone horn with the Upper Valley Community Band for 14 years. He founded the New London High School Marching Band in 1948.
Mr. Curtiss served in WWII as a naval officer and diesel engineer. He participated in the battle of Okinawa. He was anchored in Tokyo Bay when General MacArthur received the Japanese surrender.
He and his wife of 56 years, Phyllis, built their own home on County Road, New London. They both loved raising their family and spending summers camping on Bar Island in Milbridge, Maine. He also enjoyed travelling, gardening, camping, fishing, carpentry, canoeing, and maple syruping. They drove to Alaska and back 3 times. During retirement Mr. Curtiss was very active with Habitat for Humanity having built many homes in the region.
He was predeceased by his wife, Phyllis, in 2006. He is survived by his son, Wayne S. Curtiss and his wife Michelle, of Sunapee, NH., his daughter Pamela C. Berlind and her husband Bryan of Chocorua, NH., and his brother Edwin W. Curtiss and his wife, Peg of Guilford, VT.
He was a member of New London Service Organization, The First Baptist Church of New London, King Solomons Lodge # 14 F & AM of Elkins, NH having served as District Deputy Grand Master for District 7, Alpha-Pi-Tau fraternity, Keene State Alumni, NH Association of Teachers of Mathematics.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Herwood W. “Zeke” Curtiss Scholarship care of: KRHS, 457 North Road, N. Sutton, NH 03260 Attn: Betsy Anderson.
A celebration of Zeke’s life will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 1:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in New London, NH. Burial will be in Old Main Street Cemetery, New London, NH. Chadwick Funeral Service of New London, NH is assisting the family with arrangements.