Mary Black

Mary Winder Curtis Black, 91, entered the larger life on Friday, March 28, 2014. Mary was the wife of the late Donald F. Black; and the daughter of Paul W. Curtis Sr. and Ruth Teas Curtis. Mary attended the Girls Preparatory School, following in the footsteps of her mother, Ruth Teas, who had been the very first graduate of the school, and then graduated from Chattanooga City High School in 1941. She earned a B.S. degree from Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn., and completed her M.A. in early childhood education at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She was in the first group of teachers in the founding of the Head Start program. For nearly 40 years she taught kindergarten and first grade in the Chattanooga City Schools and Hamilton County Schools, retiring in 1988 as a teacher at the former Elbert Long School, now CSLA. Mary was a lifelong member of Grace Episcopal Church. At the time of her passing was the oldest living member of the parish and had been present at the installation of five of the six Rectors that have served Grace Church. She also had a great interest in continuing the genealogical research begun by her mother, and was a member of The Colonial Dames of the XVIIth Century, Daughters of the American Revolution, The Magna Carta Society and Pioneer Families of Indiana. She is survived by her four children, Ruth (Bill) LeBlanc, of Baton Rouge, La., Paul (Kathy) Black, of Chattanooga, Robert (Carol) Black, of Kingston Springs, Tenn., and Phil (Susan) Black, of Mountain Brook Ala.; six grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, R. Elizabeth Curtis Phillips; her brothers, Paul W. Curtis Jr., and John W. Curtis; and two grandchildren, James Chisholm LeBlanc, and Lucy Bennett Black A Celebration of her life will be at Grace Episcopal Church, at 2 p.m. on Saturday April 5, with the Rev. Susan J. Butler, officiating. Interment will follow immediately after the service in the Grace Memorial Garden. The family will be receiving friends at the church prior to the service, from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Marys name be made to The Grace Church Book of Remembrance. And a special "Thank You!!!" to the staff and nurses at Standifer Place for their love and care. Visit to share words of comfort to the family. Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 East Brainerd Road.

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