Timothy Lalor Curran
Timothy Lalor Curran passed away on April 27, 2021 while being held and loved by his wife of 53 years and his three sons.
He was born in Mauston, Wisconsin on November 10, 1941 to Frank and Lucille (Lalor) Curran, less than four weeks before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He lived with his mother’s family in Madison after his dad enlisted in the Navy and left for the Pacific Theater, and returned to Mauston in 1946.
He attended Madonna High School, where he “did well in everything he took up.” This is an inside joke he would have facetiously insisted on being included in his obituary, but his sons suspect that there was some truth to it, given his reputed mastery of the accordion and his oft-repeated claims of being one of the fastest guys on the football team. He was the prom king and all-around good guy, with the only seeming blemish on those years being the time he was unjustly TKO’d in a boxing match by a lesser opponent. (He swears he was just trying to tire the guy out).
He attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where he studied English and excelled as an actor. He had starring roles in The Music Man, Take Me Along, Dr. Faustus, and Twelfth Night, among others. He was later inducted into the Loras College Theater Hall of Fame, thus allowing him to employ the phrase “a Hall of Famer like myself,” when circumstances required. (More often than you’d think).
Tim was an avid learner, continuously taking classes such as Roman History, Greek Mythology, and Acting. After 30 years with The Associated Press, he qualified for a sabbatical and decided to enhance his journalism career by receiving a law degree from University of Kansas.
He met Kathy Walsh when his mother babysat for her, because their parents were friends. He was two years old and she, an infant. According to family lore, when it was time for her to go home, Tim cried and asked if they could keep her.
They married in 1968. Tim loved her with everything he had, and relished becoming a part of her sizable, tight-knit clan. His parents were both from large Irish families and had hoped the same for Tim. During World War II, Frank would write Lucille regularly about their shared hopes of giving young Tim a bigger family. It wasn’t to be until he married Kathy. Her parents, siblings and cousins embraced him as a full and integral member of the Walsh family, spending countless happy gatherings at the family farm in Cattail Valley. He loved the Walsh family dearly and they him. He would go on to be the eulogist for both his father-in-law Billy Walsh and mother-in-law Audrey Walsh. Following his dementia diagnosis, all five of Kathy’s siblings and their spouses along with several cousins accompanied them on a trip to Ireland.
Kathy gave him even more family to love with sons, Daniel, Nicholas, and Brendan. Tim filled their childhood with many happy memories, except for the times when he insisted on slowly, thoughtfully reading every single word on the historic plaques you come across at museums or landmarks He took them to more baseball games than could be counted, played the piano regularly, sang loudly in church, photographed every awkward moment of their lives, and showed them how to truly appreciate the characters, pranksters and yarn-spinners of the world (and the colorful anecdotes they could provide for regular re-telling). Most importantly, he taught them to be kind and loving and curious without being judgmental.
Tim’s professional career was that of a newsman. He started as a scribe for the Juneau County Chronicle and Mauston Star, where he enjoyed reporting on the goings on around town, tipping beers with the likes of young politico Tommy Thompson and inserting inside jokes into the photo captions of the newspaper.
He caught the attention of the AP and was offered a job in their Milwaukee bureau in 1967, which he would note, was coincidentally about the same time fellow Milwaukee legend Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) started his career there. He was an AP man for the next 39 years, working in the bureaus of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio and Kansas City, Missouri. He interviewed many notable people in his career, and made sure to have a lot of laughs while so doing. He often said it was “no big deal” that he hung out in country legend Merle Haggard’s RV (but big enough to mention often) and once had the distinct honor of being physically picked up and moved aside by one of Walter Mondale’s Secret Service agents. He was lucky to work with many people that he truly cared for, and it seemed that affection was reciprocated. Once, after Tim ridiculously and repeatedly made a big deal in the office about catching a home run ball hit by little-known MLB journeyman Bobby Jones in Cleveland, his coworkers went to great lengths to get the ball signed by Jones himself. It was displayed prominently in his home for the rest of his life.
In retirement, Tim immersed himself with family, which grew to include 12 grandchildren. He was able to know, hug and love each one of them, which he did with regularity and unparalleled enthusiasm. He also returned to his love of acting and music. He joined the Johnson County Chorus and performed with them at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and was heard to say that he made it to the latter with hardly any practice at all.
Lewy body dementia slowly but surely robbed him of the spark and wit that drew so many to him, but was unable to diminish, even at the end, what made him who he was: a kind man who loved people for who they were, and loved above all else the large family his parents had always hoped for him.
In addition to his wife Kathy, his sons, Daniel (Lisa), Nicholas (Stephanie) and Brendan (Casey), grandchildren, Frank, Allie, George, Megan, Tom, Audrey, Eddie, Matt, Grace, Lucy, Clara, and Dashiell, Tim is survived by his in-laws Patricia (Frank) Fornelli, Jane (Steve) Powers, Alice (John) Jensen, Tom (Leigh) Walsh, Dorothy (Scott) Nicol, many loved nieces, nephews and cousins
Funeral services will be held at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Mauston, WI on Wednesday June 30, 2021 at 11:00 AM. Tim’s cousin, The Reverend Monsignor Tom Baxter will officiate. Visitation will be held immediately prior at the church starting at 9:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cleveland Clinic / Philanthropy Institute, Neurology Institute / Alzheimer’s Disease Research, P.O Box 931517, Cleveland, Ohio 44193-1655.
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