Barbara Curran, a retired teacher of English at Lehman College in the Bronx who helped the school found a campus in Hiroshima, died of pneumonia on July 14 at her home in Jensen Beach, Fla. The longtime summer resident of Wainscott was 85.
Born on April 17, 1934, in Yonkers, N.Y., to Joseph E. Boland and the former Betty Jennings, she graduated from Gorton High School there, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. She attended the College of Mount St. Vincent, continued her education at Hunter College, and received a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Lehman College, an independent college within the City University of New York.
In 1953, she married Maurice Curran. In 1976, after their six children were grown, she earned a master’s degree from Manhattan College.
The Hiroshima branch Mrs. Curran helped set up for Lehman, called CUNY Lehman Hiroshima, introduced local college students to English literature and American culture. During her time there, she became close friends with several Japanese families. “I was somewhat surprised and extremely grateful,” she told relatives, “especially in Hiroshima. The Japanese were so kind and helpful to us. It taught me a lot about forgiveness and the courage to rebuild and get on with life.”
She lived most of her life in New York City, but cherished her summers in Wainscott, her family said. She also loved traveling and reading.
Her husband died in 1998. She is survived by three children, Kim Curran, Kate Curran, and Matthew Curran, as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Her other three children, Jamie Curran, Maurice Curran II, and Bess Curran, all died before her.