BRUNSWICK — Geraldine Curtis, the retired owner of a popular framing store on Pleasant Street, who had a passion for art and gardening, died Friday. She was 83.

Mrs. Curtis opened Curtis Framing in 1969 and operated the business for 30 years. Her son, Thomas Curtis of Brunswick, said she knew how to treat various pieces of art and was considered the go-to person for framing in Brunswick.

“She had a wonderful eye for proportion,” he said. “Framing was like an extension of her own artwork. She was very artistic and creative by nature, whether she was drawing or cooking. She saw the beauty in things.”

In her early years, Mrs. Curtis toured the fair circuit, drawing portraits to earn extra money. She did pastel and watercolor drawings and used a variety of media for her art, said her daughter Nancy Curtis-Strange of Brunswick, who worked with her mother for many years.

“She was so talented and very funny,” her daughter said. “She had a very contagious laugh. People adored her. She was a hot ticket.”

Mrs. Curtis grew up in Damariscotta and spent summers swimming in the Damariscotta River and looking for fairies in the woods. She graduated from Lincoln Academy in 1945 and went on to study fashion and design in Boston.

She was married to Hugh Curtis for 26 years and raised three children.

Mrs. Curtis was remembered by her children Monday as an independent and outgoing woman who valued her friendships.

“She had a sweet disposition,” her son said. “She was available. When you spoke to her, you got her. She was the kind of person that people felt very comfortable being around.”

Mrs. Curtis closed the framing shop around 1999, but continued to live in the historic building on Pleasant Street. She then returned to creating her own art and began gardening.

She had elaborate gardens at her home, and took over the garden outside the post office, just a stone’s throw away.

“She grew morning glories right up the telephone pole,” her son said. “Gardening was her love.”

She was a champion of animal rights causes and donated generously to The Humane Society for many years.

At her request, Mrs. Curtis spent her final days surrounded by her family and friends at her son’s home in Brunswick. He said the family took care of her with help and guidance from hospice workers.

Doctors said she had only a few days to live when she was discharged from the hospital.

She lived for 12 days. In that time, the family celebrated Thanksgiving with her and she shared in the birth of her great-grandson on Nov. 19.

“He was placed on her chest so she could feel him,” her son said. “We wanted her to hear him cry. He came through on that for her. It was a wonderful experience to have her here with us. I wouldn’t trade a second of it.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]