A Sister's Reflection

Jane_Curtin(1)_WebMy brother Specialist 4 John Curtin III, also known as “Jay,” was a very quiet and unassuming young man. He was born on Christmas Day in 1945. Christmas at our home in Hopatcong was always a joyous day. It was so much fun to celebrate the holiday and John’s birthday at the same time. Even though he only received one gift for both celebrations, he never complained.

John was a smart boy who fell in love with fishing at an early age. He was inventive and would cut feathers from our pet bird and snip hair from our dog so he could make flies for fishing. He had a great interest in math and science and while he was in high school he was given a college chemistry book to use as a resource.

John kept himself busy with a variety of hobbies. He made models of airplanes and cars. After school he would bring soda bottles back to the store for money then go fishing for the rest of the afternoon. He loved fishing, hiking, nature and the outdoors. He was a typical young man growing up in the small town of Hopatcong in the 50’s and 60’s. He loved his town and he loved his country.

John was an individualist with independent and divergent ideas. He was always thinking of new ways to do things and his bedroom became his think tank. He could spend hours in his room and never be bored. He wasn’t able to play sports because of his heart condition. His books and hobbies consumed his time and kept his mind active.

My favorite memory was when my father would come home and take us to Stokes or Stevens State Park. My mother would pack a picnic basket and John and I would spend the evening fishing and playing in the park.

I loved my brother John and since his death, Christmas has never been the same.