Martha (Marti) B. Curtiss, 88, of Glastonbury passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at home. She was predeceased by her husband of 36 years, Warren G. Curtiss.
Born in Ridgway, PA, Marti was the daughter of the late Irene Collins and Carl Willard Berglund. Her early childhood was spent on a small family farm in Johnsonburg, PA until her parents moved to Bristol, PA to join war efforts. As a teenager in Bristol, Marti became involved with student government and community affairs. She was also a natural beauty and was crowned Miss Bristol in 1953 and went on to become Miss Lower Bucks County which provided a fun moment on the popular Ed Sullivan Show as well as a possible modeling contract with the Powers Agency. Marti declined a modeling career in favor of a college education and in 1957 received a Bachelor’s of Science in business from Beaver College, now Arcadia University, in Greater Philadelphia where she served as Student Government President.
After graduation, Marti married her first husband Richard H. Sperry, and settled in the Philadelphia area where they promptly had their first daughter. A second daughter was born a year later, then Richard’s career moved the young family to Manchester, CT where they had two more daughters before Richard succumbed to terminal cancer at the age of 32. As a young widow, while she was raising her daughters on her own, Marti found solace by becoming active in church and community service. Then in 1970, she married Warren and moved to Glastonbury where Marti quickly became involved with the First Church of Christ, volunteered where she could, and added a son to their family. When her children were a bit older, she launched a professional life by working in marketing at the Salvation Army of Hartford, but then preferred working in small businesses in town where she could keep her finger on the pulse of her beloved community. Ultimately, she would launch a career in healthcare services by becoming the Community Liaison for Glastonbury Health Care Center, and later worked in various capacities for Laurel Gardens of Glastonbury.
Marti loved her family, friends, church, and community deeply and showed her love through tireless devotion and service to each. She was as apt to be at a PTO meeting, driving her daughters to their numerous activities, and cheering at her son’s soccer matches as she was to be organizing a church food drive, running an auction for the Historical Society, or cutting a ribbon at the grand opening of a new business in town. She lived by the adage that gratitude is service in action and her gratitude was demonstrated by serving on the Town Council for 14 years, being a member of the Chamber of Commerce for 18 years, and serving on the Republican Town Committee for 36 years. Her mark on this town can be seen in the Riverfront Park and Community Center as well as in the smiles on faces when anyone raises her name.
She received multiple awards for her outstanding service which included Republican of the Year by the Glastonbury Republican Town Committee, a Community Service Award from the Glastonbury Community Health Organization, another Community Service Award from Columbia Lodge No. 25 Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, and Business Person of the Year from the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce to name a few. Her efforts also extended beyond the borders of Glastonbury to the Connecticut Audubon Society, the YMCA, and the Village for Families and Children. She was a deacon at the First Church of Christ as well as served on multiple boards and committees within the church. And although her hours were filled with many and varied endeavors, she was also quick to be at a friend’s door with a casserole or flowers whenever she learned of a hardship or a celebration.
While Marti primarily dedicated her energy to her family and charitable good works, she also enjoyed Bridge and her Bridge buddies, loved concerts in Memorial Park as well as at the Bushnell, belonged to the Glastonbury Garden Club, and a book club. She had a quick wit, an infectious laugh, and a radiant smile that lit up any room she was in. Marti thrived on loving others and her legacy of love will live on here and beyond in the countless lives that she has touched.
Surviving Marti are her four daughters Linda Kelly and her husband Reade of NY, Brenda Sperry of NC, Anita Grabowski and her husband Jim of Bristol, Sandra Sperry Hamami and her husband Demir of CA, her son Christopher Curtiss and his wife Melis of CA, as well as her five grandchildren Jena Foster, Acadia Kelly, Jonathan Black, Harrison and Benjamin Curtiss, and three great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 10th at 12:00 noon at the First Church of Christ, Congregational, 2183 Main St., Glastonbury. Friends may call on Thursday, November 9th from 4:00 - 6:00 at Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury. For online condolences, please visit www.mulryanfh.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Marti’s name to Visiting Nurses and Health Services of CT Hospice Care, 8 Keynote Drive, Vernon, CT 06066, or to the charity of your choice.