Curtis Webber ’55 died on June 21, 2023, in Lewiston, Maine.
(The following was provided by the Funeral Alternatives Group-Lewiston on June 22, 2023)
G. Curtis Webber, born August 29, 1933, to Donald and Lucy Webber, was a lifelong resident of Auburn, Maine, and dedicated to his family and community.
He graduated from Edward Little in 1950 and later from Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School. At Bowdoin he was involved in athletics and was active in the student radio station where he became station manager in his senior year. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a commencement speaker at graduation.
After graduating from college, he married Judith MacLean (Judy) of Garden City, Long Island. They had three children, Rebecca of Turner, Peter of Scarborough and John of Marblehead, Massachusetts. They also had eight grandchildren.
After law school, Curtis returned to Auburn and joined the law firm of Linnell & Choate. In addition to practicing law, Curtis played on various local baseball, softball, and basketball teams. While he was a ferocious competitor, Curtis was also replete with a sense of fair play. At his weekly pickup basketball games at the YMCA, when there was a disagreement on a call, both teams would turn to Curtis and ask him his opinion, knowing that he would not favor his own team. He loved pickup games and was never happier then when he was playing softball or basketball with friends and family in a tattered white t-shirt and threadbare chinos.
Being active was a passion and he would often greet his children with, “What are you doing to stay active?” He passed along his love of sports to his family. At their home on Dennison St, he built and maintained a backyard hockey rink which entertained not only his kids but many kids from the neighborhood. He was often the only adult on the ice. Rebecca would take what she learned there and start a women’s hockey team at Williams College.
At the age of 35 he took his family camping in the White Mountains at the Dry River Campground in Crawford Notch. For more than fifty years various family members would return to Dry River and introduce their children to camping. A love of hiking was also born there and he hiked with children and grandchildren for decades. He retired from competitive sports in his early sixties, explaining that he was beginning to make his teammates nervous because of concerns about the possibility of age-related injuries.
While he loved playing sports, he was never much of a fan of watching sports: with two exceptions: the Baltimore Orioles and the Bowdoin women’s basketball team. He abandoned the Red Sox as a child when they traded away his favorite player to the Orioles and became a fervent fan, even having the Baltimore Sun delivered so he could read the sports page. Indeed, in his final months, watching the Orioles on a laptop would prove to be one of his favorite activities.
When Frank Linnell retired from practicing law, Curtis succeeded him as the attorney for the Lewiston-Auburn Shoe Workers Protective Association. In subsequent years. he continued to represent employees in labor and employment matters.
In 1967, Curtis served as the attorney for several female employees of Oxford Paper Company in Rumford. This was one of the first sexual discrimination cases brought in Maine under the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act. This case was ultimately settled and, as part of the settlement, Oxford Paper agreed to open up all of the jobs in the mill to female employees. While a true champion of equal rights, Curtis saw nothing wrong with instructing his outfielders to move in when a female on the opposing team came to bat.
Curtis served as city solicitor in Auburn for many years. He also represented the towns of Durham and Poland as well as other communities.
Curtis served as an officer or board member of several law-related organizations included Pine Tree Legal Assistance, which provides legal services to low-income Maine residents. He was also a member of the Board of Overseers of the Bar, which oversees attorney discipline in Maine and the arbitration fee disputes between Maine attorneys and their clients. He served as chair of the Board in the last two years of his six-year term.
He was proud to be present when, in 1989, his father, retired Supreme Court Justice Donald W. Webber, in his final court appearance, moved for the admission to the Bar of the State of Maine, of Curtis’s daughter, Rebecca, who was a partner in the Auburn law firm of Skelton, Taintor and Abbott.
Curtis is survived by his wife, Judy, son Peter and Maureen Van Uden, son John and Wendy Shapiro Webber, and eight grandchildren, and predeceased by daughter, Rebecca, sister, Faith and William Towle