Edward Curtin Sr., newspaper supervisor

Posted: March 12, 2009

Edward F. Curtin Sr., 66, of South Philadelphia, a retired Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News composing room supervisor and a golf enthusiast, died of a heart attack Monday at Atlantic City Medical Center-Mainland Division in Pomona, N.J.

Mr. Curtin retired in 2007 after a 41-year career in the composing room.

"Ed was always pleasant to work with," said Jim Lannigan, a longtime colleague who is prepress production manager at The Inquirer and Daily News. "We called him the mayor of the composing room because he cared so much about the employees."

Mr. Curtin graduated from Bishop Neumann High School, now St. John Neumann, in South Philadelphia. He studied computers in an IBM training program and was an apprentice printer at Mid-City Press. He was working at Mid-City Press in 1966 when he went to work at The Inquirer in the composing room.

He started out as a substitute printer, said his wife, Ellen Heffron Curtin. By then he was married with a family.

"He said we might have to rough it for awhile, but the job would offer better opportunities," she said. "Right from the start, he loved the work and the people."

Mr. Curtin became a supervisor in 1981.

He and his wife of 45 years met at a high school dance. He was 16; she was 15. They enjoyed visiting Atlantic City casinos and traveling. His passions were golf and his grandchildren, she said.

Since retiring, Mr. Curtin played golf two or three times a week and ran the Philadelphia Inquirer Golf Association. If there was a conflict between playing golf and caring for the grandchildren, though, the grandchildren came first, his wife said.

"Eddie was constantly talking about his grandkids," Lannigan said.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Curtin is survived by a son, Edward Jr.; a daughter, Kimberly; two brothers; and five grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. today at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Third and Wolf Streets, Philadelphia. Friends may call from 9. Burial is private.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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