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Howard's Story

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RIVERSIDE, CA: Howard W. Curtis, a former library director and resident of Riverside, Calif., lost his struggle with advanced melanoma on July 26, 2015.

Son of the late Phyllis L. and Lowell W. Curtis of Rockland, Mass., Howard grew up in Haverhill and graduated from Haverhill High School. He was granted a bachelor of arts degree in history from American University in 1974, and his Master of Library and Information Sciences from the Graduate School of Simmons College. In his long career in libraries, he served as the director of the Haverhill Public Library and the West Tisbury Library in Massachusetts, the Montclair Public Library in New Jersey, and the Corona Public Library in California. In each role, he championed the role of libraries in the community and fought for increased funding and modernization. He was also active in the Boy Scouts and served as a scoutmaster in Haverhill for many years.

In his later life, he experienced persistent legal and health problems, and in 2015 succumbed to a metastatic recurrence of the skin cancer he first battled as a young man. Prior to the return of his illness, Howard had planned to become a certified addiction counselor.

He is survived by his longtime partner, Eddie Wai-Leong Lee, as well as a daughter, Joanna, and a son, Jonathan, from his marriage to Monica Glass of Brookfield, Mass. He also leaves behind a sister, Karen Kimball, and two brothers, Lowell Curtis and Lawrence Curtis.

The family will hold a private service. Donations in Howard's memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Published on  September 3, 2015
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