Ranger Curran, Sr., 92, made his final landing on April 19, 2011. He was a World War II fighter pilot, logging 340 combat hours and won the Distinguished Flying Cross among other medals. In 2002, he was inducted into the Air National Guard Hall of Fame for his participation on the nation’s first jet precision acrobatic team, “The Minute Men.”
Colonel Curran retired from the Air Force at age 45 before earning a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Georgia. He then taught at Youngstown State University, before moving to Keene State College in 1981, where he remained as a faculty member until his 82nd year. For several years the family lived in Dublin, where he had summered as a child, before moving to Keene in 2001.
Serving on international commissions, Ranger Curran’s proudest accomplishment was his marriage to Celia Galbreath, who was a true partner in all he did.
Having lost their son, Tom, to cancer in 1992, Ranger and Celia cherished each of their remaining children as well as an ever expanding circle of loved ones who joined the family over time.
An avid athelete, Ranger was a Golden Gloves boxer, played football for Worcester Polytech, coached the US Air Force boxing team, and played squash and tennis well into his eighties. Having been educated at WPI and the University of Minnesota, then interrupted by war, Ranger finished his baccalaureate at Boston University, he kept up a keen intellectual life until his final days.
Ranger is survived by his bride, Celia, and children, Carolyn (and Frank Stafford) Mary Ann (and Gil Hudnall), Deirdre, Ranger Jr. (and Karen Curran), Tere (and Bob Clarkson) Sheila (and John Corrigan), John (and Holly Curran), Ellen (ODaniell), Mike (and Beth Curran), Cathy (and Larry Dorfman), twenty-five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and countless ‘shirt-tail’ relatives. His sister, Betty Huntress and dear cousin, Virginia Mersch mourn him as well.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Keene Country Club, on Saturday, April 23rd at four o’clock. Those wishing to commemorate Ranger are invited to donate to Hospice at HCS, 312 Marlboro St., Keene, NH 03431. Arrangements are handled by Fletcher Funeral Home, but calling hours will not be held.