Mae Conchetta Curtis was born on May 11, 1940 in Glen Ridge, NJ. Mae (affectionately called "Mita" by her family ) is the 3rd child born to the union of Simon A. Curtis and Ella P. Curtis. On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, God called Mae home with Him.
At an early age, Mae confessed Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She attended Mt. Olive Baptist church in East Orange for a season, before becoming a LIFELONG member of St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair, NJ. As a youth, Mae 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 very dedicated choir member who loved to sing. Her mother Ella was an integral part of the quilt making ministry, and her name is inscribed on the tapestry that exists at St. Paul today. Mae was an avid intercessor and took joy in praying for others, as well as giving freely to those that The Father laid on her heart. The Lord saw and carried her through many seasons, and she remained faithful in serving Him.
Having a passion to learn and grow, Mae received her early education in the Montclair, New Jersey school systems and graduated from Montclair High School Class of 1958. Not one to sit idly by, she was involved in the Music Department as a violinist, singer, and marching band member, along with several other extra-curricular activity. Mae had a true love for the Arts!
From classical music, to ballet, and dance; she developed and had a deep appreciation for all things creative.
After High School, Mae graduated with honors from a two year local Business School. She then pursued her Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers-The State University with high honors.
Family was everything to Mae-Mita. She enjoyed "family gatherings" and mentoring. She would often share her wisdom around the topics of entrepreneurship and being your own boss. A wise saver, Mae always emphasized the importance of savings and independence. Further expanding on her love for arts, Mae designed beautiful 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.
Mae served a major role in helping to raise her nephews, nieces, grandsons, great nieces and great nephews, along with her great granddaughters whom she loved so much! She would often assist with school projects and study.
Mae worked tirelessly for over 40 plus years without any lapse in employment since 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-The State University Newark campus. She worked there for over 30 years in the Payroll-HR Department. As one with great momentum and drive, Mae was also a successful 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. One of her lifelong goals was to grant as many people as she could an opportunity to work and she achieved this goal as she helped many people secure employment.
Mae's noteworthy activities, memberships and affiliations included:
• Travel to Africa, Greece, Canada, Mexico, Egypt and beyond. She loved to travel, and many times took pleasure in guessing ones nationality and hearing others speak in different languages.
• Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (AKA)
• Member of Phi Delta Kappa (an educational fraternity)
• Member of Rutgers University Black Faculty and Staff, and more.
• She believed in having a voice and ran for the position of Councilwoman locally in Montclair
Mae is survived by her loving and only daughter Durelle Curtis-McPherson(Steven); Grandsons Edward M. Jordan II (Irene), 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.
Mae 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; nephew Brian G. Hall.
She will be extremely missed!