James "Jim" Curtis
Last updated 5/20/2020 at 4:38pm
James "Jim" Curtis, 94, of Stamford, Conn., died peacefully of natural causes at his home May 9, 2020, with family by his side.
He was born in New York City, N.Y., June 6, 1925, to the late Pietro and Giuditta (Barlaro) Curti. Jim was named Zairo Curti at birth, but his family changed their name after immigrating to the United States.
Jim was born in New York City, but was raised in northern Italy until the age of 10. He returned to the United States and lived with his family in Miami, Fla. At the age of 17, he joined the United Stated Coast Guard, attended radio school, and became a radioman in the United Stated Navy, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
When the war ended, he pursued his artistic side and began a career in dance and choreography, dancing with the San Francisco Ballet Company and studying choreography under Anna Sokolow in New York City.
He attended the University of Miami, where he studied electrical engineering, eventually becoming a training specialist in the fields of computers and robotics.
He married his blue-eyed Irish beauty, Margaret Sophia Donnelly, in 1960, and they raised their family in Stamford. When she became ill with an autoimmune disease in 1968, he dedicated his life to taking care of her so that she could live long enough to see her children grow up. He cared for her with dignity, grace and unconditional love. He was by her side when she passed away in 1993.
He led a very unique life. He once lived in a Hindu Ashram, where he met his spiritual mentor, John Moffitt, who was instrumental in his spiritual self-development. He was a philosopher, a dancer and a passionate lover of Beethoven. His love of philosophy gave him loftiness of spirit, and as a dancer, he favored ballet and the classical Argentine Tango, which he began to learn and teach at the age of 76. He had a huge library of books ranging in topics from Eastern philosophy to quantum physics.
He dedicated the last two years of his life to creating a website that would help anyone who is seeking guidance in their own spiritual journey. He planned to publish this website this year. He passed away peacefully knowing his children will publish it for him.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret (Donnelly) Curtis.
He is survived by his three children, Peter Curtis (Kathy), Eileen Curtis and Regina Terenzio (Joseph), with whom he lived for the past three years; five grandchildren, Nicole Curtis (John Furrer), Simone Sapp (Brandon), Sara Reese (Chris), Christopher Valdivia and Nicholas Valdivia; four great-grandchildren, Evin, Issac, Lincoln and Bodie; and his dance partner and devoted companion, Eira Patnaik.
"If the earth knew whose dust it was about to receive, it would open up and dance." - Eira Patnaik.
Due to the current health crisis in our state and the community, no funeral services will take place at this time. The family will have a celebration of his life at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, make a donation or support a local business in your area that is affected by COVID-19.
"Behold, I am that which must always overcome itself." - Nietzsche.