Liz Curren 1944 – 2022

Written by Estero Bay News

November 23, 2022

Elizabeth Birge Curren passed away peacefully on Friday, October 28, 2022, due to cancer at age 78.  She was at home surrounded by her children and family members, as was her wish. 

She was born on October 23, 1944, in Saint Louis, Missouri to Jane Allen Birge and Stanley Julius Birge.  Liz attended John Burroughs High School and graduated in 1963. After high school, she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She then attended Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey and Claremont College of Theology in California, earning a Doctorate degree.

She married the love of her life, Michael Curren, in 1973. They moved to Los Osos, California in 1975. Elizabeth worked as a teacher and a librarian over the course of her professional life. She volunteered for many organizations in the community, including the Literacy Counsel of San Luis Obispo County and the Morro Bay National Estuary Program.  She volunteered at the Literacy Council first as tutor and later as the center director in Los Osos. This volunteer work led The Tribune in 2012 to name her as one of its unsung heroes “dedicated to literacy for all.”  She believed that, through teaching, one person has the power to change many lives for the better.

She enjoyed hiking, camping and any opportunity to spend time outdoors. There was nothing in life that was going to get in the way of her sense of adventure. She and Mike went on a backpacking trip together through the Sierras with their son when he was only a few months old.  She hiked to the top of Mount Whitney when she was in her early 60s. And, after she had been battling cancer for over three years and was not in the best health, she managed to hike a trail that was at over 10,000 feet in elevation, with the help of her daughter.  She found so much joy being in nature.

Her greatest pleasure in life was spending time with her family and friends. She had an infectious smile and made many friends wherever she went.  She loved working in the library in Los Osos because it gave her the opportunity to get to know so many members of our community.  She felt such gratitude to all of you who have made her life so much richer.  

Liz loved children. Her favorite memories in life were those of her childhood and the time spent raising her children. She would always have a crafting project or adventure planned for her children and a book ready to read to them at bedtime.  She was a wonderful mother.

She will be deeply missed by her daughter, Jane Michael Curren, her son, David Allen Curren, her daughter-in-law, Naoko Curren, and her granddaughter, Riana Curren, as well as her brothers and sister, nieces, nephews, in-laws and extended family.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life at Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos at 490 Los Osos Valley Rd, Los Osos, CA 93402, on Saturday, December 17 at 3 p.m. A reception will follow the service.  Liz wanted it to be a celebration, so no need to wear black.

In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, please give a hug to your loved ones in Liz’s honor. 

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