“Jean Curtis has touched the lives of countless individuals throughout her life … Jean selflessly gave of her time and energy to many individuals over the past 60 years.” Those sentiments are echoed over and over by those who know her and were touched by her generous volunteer efforts.
As a volunteer Girl Scout leader for nearly 20 years and a Cub Scout leader, Jean taught countless young girls and boys first aid, leadership, decision making, good citizenship, and how to lead a life of responsibility. For her efforts, Jean received the "Thanks Badge” from the Girl Scout Council of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Since 1963, Jean was an avid volunteer at her church, Beulah Presbyterian, teaching Sunday school, cooking for youth groups, leading and participating in Women’s Circles, and sewing costumes for church productions.
For 12 years, Jean worked at the Allegheny County Health Department as a nutritionist. After retirement, she volunteered at a teenage pregnancy clinic, educating and counseling pregnant teens.
Jean and her late husband, Bob, were host parents to numerous foreign exchange students from various countries over the years, and she also volunteered with the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors, greeting and introducing international visitors to Pittsburgh.
Through her volunteer service with the Pittsburgh Literacy Council, helping to teach adults to read, she eventually became a trainer in the program. Jean regularly volunteered at a Wilkinsburg elementary school, reading stories to the kindergarten and third-grade students for many years. Jean served as a volunteer for the Penn State Extension Service and judged home canning competitions at the Allegheny County Fair.
During World War II, Jean served in the U.S. Navy as a WAVE. She continued to be active in the WAVES, having served as president of the local Three Rivers Unit 28 in Pittsburgh, as well as state director of the WAVES units of Pennsylvania, and regional director, serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
Jean currently volunteers at the Pennsylvania Southwestern Veterans Center, a skilled nursing care center for veterans, where she helps to coordinate programming for patients, including the “Christmas in July” celebration that is held every year. She also serves as a volunteer on the center's advisory council as a representative for women veterans.
Jean holds a degree in home economics and dietetics from George Washington University, and a master’s degree in nutrition and adult health from the University of Pittsburgh. She and her husband raised their four children, Byron, Bruce, Barbara, and Beverly, in Penn Hills.
Jean has been a resident of Seneca Hills Village in Penn Hills since 2005.