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Mary Curtis Gramley Obituary

Mary Curtis Gramley, age 84, passed away on May 17, 2021. She is survived by her husband, Dale Gramley and their five children: Jane, Dale, Walter, Andrew, and Joseph, and seven grandchildren. Sister Jane Beck lives in Burlington, North Carolina.

Mary Curtis was born October 24, 1936, in Graham, North Carolina. She graduated from Salem College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1958, and began her career as an elementary school teacher.

When her youngest child started school, she continued her education, earning an M.S. in Counseling Psychology (1980) and Ph.D. in Early Childhood Development (1988) at the University of Oregon.

Her professional experience over the past 30 years has included a multitude of positions. Among her experiences: Co-founder, Oasis Center of the Rogue Valley (2018-19), Founder and Executive Director, Family Nurturing Center (2004-15), Executive Director, CASA (2002-04), Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Education, SOU (1992-99).

She belonged to professional organizations, most of which focused on early childhood, and served on numerous social service commissions and boards. Additionally, Mary Curtis gave presentations, as well as submitting various articles for publication focusing on young children.

Mary Curtis wanted to leave a message she did not want people to forget. Her message is as follows:

"I have had the privilege of working with amazing professional caregivers over many years. It has been an honor to share concerns and contribute time and effort to very young children at risk. My level of concern and care has been a commitment to these children as future citizens of this community. My belief in their viability and capacity to become positive members of this community rests with our investment in them individually and collectively. Each child's wellbeing deserves respect top to bottom."

"I am thankful for the opportunities I have had, the meaning it has given my life, and the joy each child has brought to it. Please do not let our children down. Their voice must be heard, because our listening will give them hope. Inclusion, diversity, and understanding must accompany the work that follows. It is the child that empowers and creates the needed change and success of all programs."

Donations honoring Mary Curtis may go to the Mary Curtis Gramley Family Nurturing Center Memorial Fund.


For more information, contact: Jeanne Stallman, Executive Director, Outreach and Engagement,

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