Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo declared Sept. 20 as Mary Curtis Day. Curtis will celebrate her 100th birthday with friends and relatives at Cottage Grove Memory Care in North Chili, where she will receive birthday cards from around the world.
Curtis’ parents emigrated from the Ukraine in the late 1800s and settled in Hilton to work as farmers. Her daughter Holly DiCiccio, of Brockport, said her mom was a “smart cookie,” as Curtis was raised bilingual and graduated from Hilton High School at 16 years old.
Curtis attended Highland Hospital’s School of Nursing and hopped a train after graduation to find work in California. She moved to Texas and returned to New York. During World War II, Curtis trained as a nurse anesthetist since there was a shortage of doctors.
Up until age 90, Curtis attended every HHS class reunion. In retirement, Curtis volunteered at Park Ridge Hospital and the YMCA. She participates in daily walks and shares her love of animals.
“Pets just come to her, as they seem to know she loves to hold and pet them,” DiCiccio said.
Curtis was married twice, and has three children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She’s known by her family for being open-minded, reminding grandchildren that “it takes all kinds” during her Sunday dinner visits with her daughter’s family.
The community can send birthday cards to Curtis at 46 Cottage Grove Circle, North Chili, New York, 14514. To date, she has received nearly 100 cards.