Obituary: Mae “Mita” Conchetta Curtis
Mae "Mita" Conchetta Curtis died on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
Ms. Curtis is the daughter of Simon A. and Ella P. Curtis and was born on May 11, 1940, in Glen Ridge.
Ms. Curtis attended Mount Olive Baptist Church in East Orange, before becoming a lifelong member of St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair. As a child, Ms. Curtis was very active in various ministries throughout the church. Following in the footsteps of her parents who were active members at St. Paul, she also served as a choir member.
Ms. Curtis received her early education in the Montclair school system and graduated from Montclair High School in 1958. She was involved in the music department as a violinist, singer and marching band member, along with several other extra-curricular activities.
After high school, Ms. Curtis graduated with honors from a two year local business school. She received her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University graduating with high honors. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and a member of Phi Delta Kappa, an educational fraternity.
Ms. Curtis enjoyed family gatherings and mentoring. She would often share her wisdom around the topics of entrepreneurship and being your own boss. Ms. Curtis always emphasized the importance of savings and independence. She designed cards and displays for family and friends which highlighted her creative style. Raising her daughter Durelle at a young age was her greatest joy, and she imparted to Durelle a great sense of independence and a passion to succeed.
She helped to raise her nephews, nieces, grandsons, great nieces and great nephews, along with her great granddaughters. She would often assist with school projects and study.
Ms. Curtis worked for over 40 years without any lapse in employment from the age of 18 as a single parent. She was the first black woman to work in sales at a local drugstore in Montclair called Mack Drug Store. She then was noticed and given a great reference to work at Rutgers-Newark campus. She worked there for over 30 years in the payroll-human resources department. She was also a Mary Kay consultant, owned her own jewelry line, and worked as a head supervisor with the Educational Testing Services managing a team of proctors to test prospective college bound students. She also traveled to Africa, Greece, Canada, Mexico and Egypt.
Ms. Curtis is survived by her daughter Durelle Curtis-McPherson and her husband Steven; grandsons Edward M. Jordan II, and his wife Irene, and Justin Jordan; granddaughter Stephane McPherson; great granddaughters Leannah and Nyla Jordan and a host of nephews: Keith, Thomas (Alan), Calvin (Choo), Mark (Markie), nieces (Tanya), great nephews and nieces.
She is predeceased by her father Simon Alvin Curtis; mother Ella P. Curtis; brothers Alvin Curtis and William "MO MO" Curtis; sisters Barbara E. Curtis-Moore and Mildred V. Curtis-Hall; and nephew Brian G. Hall.