August 25, 1920 – June 1, 2019
Iconic Restaurant and Downtown Real Estate Owner Marion Curtis, 98, passed away at her home on June 1st. She was born Marion Frances Tangalakis in Alma, Michigan on August 25, 1920 and grew up in St. Louis, Michigan, a small farming community where her parents operated a candy/food store. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in English and Science Studies and a teaching certificate. She taught English and history in the 1940’s at Ionia High School. While attending college, she frequently played her violin and piano at various functions and was a life long enthusiast of the arts. She began a master’s degree in education at Columbia University in New York. In 1948 Marion married George Curtis and for fifteen years owned and managed the very popular “Curtis Chicken in the Rough” restaurant at 207 S. Main St. in Ann Arbor. It was one of the first restaurant franchises in the United States. During that time, she and her husband, who were great believers in the central business district, began purchasing and remodeling commercial buildings, even when businesses were vacating the downtown and relocating to Briarwood Mall. Marion and George were the founders of what is now known as Curtis Commercial. Her unflinching belief in the central core never wavered. In 1962, she and her husband received the “Pace Setters Award” from the City of Ann Arbor due to their development of the Curtis Building located at 343 S. Main St., which is currently the home of Real Seafood Company Restaurant. Marion loved the University of Michigan and especially enjoyed the marching band on Saturday game days and the football team, which she followed closely. Her hobbies were jogging, walking, reading non-fiction, and traveling. After the passing of her husband in 1990, she traveled to Egypt, Israel, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, China, Panama, and Greece, where her husband and her parents were born. She loved people and whomever she met she would not only remember their names but their life’s story. She was a help to many and an inspiration to all. She always had a smile and interest for people she met. She loved young people and the energy that the youth brought to Ann Arbor. Marion is survived by her son James Curtis (Linda) and grandchildren Kathryn Gardiner (George), David Curtis and Margaret Curtis and son John Curtis (Mary) and grandchildren Benjamin Curtis (Maya), Andrew Curtis (Miyuki), and Emily Rosdal (Aaron) and 7 great grandchildren, her brother Stanley Tangalakis (Nancy) and sister Helen Theofilis of Clearwater, FL and many nieces and nephews. The Funeral Service will be Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 11 AM at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 3109 Scio Church Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 with Fr. Nicolaos H. Kotsis officiating. Burial will follow in Bethlehem Cemetery. The visitation will be on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 from 3 PM to 8 PM with a Trisagion Service at 7 PM at Muehlig Funeral Chapel. Contributions in her memory may be made to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. To sign Marion's guestbook visit www.muehligannarbor.com
- Visitation Tuesday, June 11, 2019
- Trisagion Service Tuesday, June 11, 2019
- Funeral Service Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Catherine Thirkell Strassberg
June 11, 2019
Remembering this happy moment at Becca Gargaro Pohl's wedding.
June 10, 2019
Mrs. Curtis was a bundle of energy, joy and delight! Whenever I happened to run into her or have the opportunity to interact with her, she always made me feel special. What a gift. She remembered my name no matter how long it had been since I saw her. She asked about my family and delighted in every piece of news. I feel so blessed to have crossed paths with her in my lifetime and to call Mrs. Curtis and her family my dear, dear friends. With great love and sympathy to Jim, Linda, Katherine, David and Margaret. I will remember your mother/mother-in-law/grandmother in my heart...forever.
June 5, 2019
I was fortunate to be able to meet Marion Curtis about 15 years ago. I was supposed to be giving her guidance and advice; however, most of our visits resulted in me receiving the advice and wisdom. I was always inspired by her positive attitude and strong "spirit for life." She was running up to 5 miles when she has in her mid-80's! I will always remember her wisdom and inspiration. She was truly a remarkable person and I know her spirit for life will on in her family.
June 4, 2019
So many great memories growing up in Ann Arbor and visiting the Curtis family upstairs above Curtis Restrauant. Marion’s mother and father and Jim and John. Always so gracious and welcoming. My mother, Anne, was great friends with Marion. Prayers to the entire family.
June 3, 2019
My deep condolences to the family of Marion!
She was a great example of a life well lived all the way to the end.
I recall when I came to live at Brookhaven Manor over three years ago, meeting her late in the evening. She would come to get her coffee to be ready for the morning. We chit chatted and discovered our ancestors were "neighbors", hers from Greece and mine from Italy.
She was a inspiration, walking fearlessly and fast! early each morning. I never attempted to walk with her as my walking is closer to a turtle. Even several months ago when she graduated to a "walker" she would barge our, fearless, crossing the busy intersection between Eisenhower and S. Main Street, walking straight and proud. What a woman!
And she was always so stylish, with beautiful dresses, an exception to the "fashion" of pants.
Rest in peace Marion - hugs,
June 1, 2019
My sincerest condolences to Marion’s family - she was a truly remarkable woman
I live with her at Brookhaven Manor and just a few days ago when her caregiver had her in the living room - where it was nice to see her out, animated, in her usual good spirits and sharp mind - I got her to laugh reminding her of the time a few years back when I was at the computer in the media center and she came to get her coffee for the next morning- she noticed the light on but did not see me - she turned out the light and I exclaimed “I’m here!” - it startled her since she wasn’t expecting to see anyone at 11:30 at night and was so embarrassed to be caught in her nightgown!
She was loved by all of us here at Brookhaven and no doubt by all who crossed her path
May your memories of her bring you comfort
She will be missed and remembered in love