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Robert J. Curtin, a former Buffalo school principal and U.S. Customs Service inspector, died Sunday in his Grand Island home after a brief illness. He was 62.

Born and reared in Buffalo, he attended Holy Spirit Elementary School and St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Buffalo State College.

A former resident of the Town of Tonawanda, Mr. Curtin spent more than 30 years in the Buffalo school system.

He served as assistant principal of School 78 and principal of School 74. He then spent 21 years as principal of North Park Academy and St. Lawrence Academy and was summer principal at School 84.

During his tenure at North Park Academy, his school was recognized as a National School of Excellence. He retired from the school district in 2001.

Mr. Curtin also worked as a customs inspector from 1966 to 1996 and served in the New York National Guard.

Active in St. Amelia's Catholic Church, he was a former president of the Home School Association and taught religious education classes.

He enjoyed music, art, reading, card playing and bingo. He also enjoyed making stained glass and woodworking.

Surviving are his wife, the former Patricia McNeill; a daughter, Colleen Anne Gavner of Kenmore; five sons, Kevin of Buffalo, Timothy and Dennis, both of the Town of Tonawanda, Terrence of Amherst and Patrick of Grand Island; a sister, Judy A. Jarmusz of Williamsville; and 14 grandchildren.

Prayers will be said at 8:15 a.m. Thursday in Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9 in St. Amelia's Church, 2999 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.


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