Curtis Paul Crotty passed away peacefully at his home in Evanston, on Jan. 17, 2019, following a long, courageous bout with lung cancer. He was 80 years old.
Mr. Crotty was born and grew up in Mullens, W. Va. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master’s degree at West Virginia University, both in English. After graduation, he was recruited to teach freshman English at Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South High Schools, each for two years.
He moved to Evanston in the early 1960s, and in 1964, he joined the faculty of Evanston Township High School (ETHS), where for 32 years he taught all levels of English, including Advanced Placement, to juniors and seniors. Outside the classroom, Mr. Crotty, always interested in theater, developed the Writers’ Showcase program, which adapts students’ writing for the stage. He also co-advised with a history teacher an exchange program with students from Russia, helping to orient them to ETHS and Chicago when they visited Evanston, and chaperoning the ETHS students when they went to Moscow. He had a fond memory of his many students and could pull up anecdotes about them whenever they happened to meet.
His life at ETHS was enriched when Mr. Crotty met and married ETHS colleague Mary Jane McNally, who taught Latin full-time as well as Ancient Greek in the early morning. Over the years, he helped her conduct many school field trips to Greece and Italy.
While Mr. Crotty retired from teaching in 1996, he actively filled his calendar with opera and theater performances, concerts and movies. He also was an avid drum corps fan and attended Midwest meets during the contest season as well as the annual national competition in Denver, CO.
Mr. Crotty was predeceased in 2005 by his sister, Lynda Crotty Jadick. He is survived by his wife, his son Stephen (Sheeba Daniel) and their two children, Ben and Grace; by his daughter Kristin (Bill) Paxton and their twin sons, Jake and Mason; and by his two nieces, Juli Desjardins and Carrie Gelinas.
A kind, witty, and compassionate man, who adored his family, Mr. Crotty also took an active interest in his countless friends, whose lives he so deeply touched.
A memorial service will be held at 10am on Saturday, February 9, at Donnellan Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL 60077. (www.donnellanfuneral.com)