Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Tom Curran

It is with great sadness that I share the passing of Tom Curran, of Chatham, New York.  It's an impossible task to write a brief note about so great a friend, mentor, and craftsman.  I was lucky enough to know Tom for close to 20 years, and his encouragement and mentorship played no small part in my own development as a student of flintlock arms.

Many knew him as "Acer Saccharum", on the AmericanLongrifles forum, where he humbly shared his vast artistic knowledge, and gave helpful pointers to beginners asking for feedback, and as a moderator helped guide the direction of the forum over the years. Those who knew him only on the forum could occasionally catch a glimpse of his humor through his posts, while those who knew him in person won't ever forget his big smile and genuine kind-hearted nature.

Tom's favorite style of flintlock to build was his own. That is to say, he would study and learn every detail of an original style, and then make something uniquely of his hand and imagination - while keeping it completely believable within a historic context. It takes great skill to be good at this, and it was inspirational to see his imagination at work.

Though he would be the last to call himself an expert in anything (save perhaps being a skilled machinist), he had a wealth of knowledge about all things artistic and mechanical, and he was constantly learning something new. While keeping one hand in the flintlock world, he expanded his repertoire to make a variety of engraved copper plate and wood block prints, wood carving and sculpture, and even practice some forge work. 

He made all of it look easy - he faced challenges with grace, while remaining humble about his own abilities and sharing with and encouraging others. 

I can only just scratch the surface in a few paragraphs - I will miss sharing flintlock ideas, discussing life, exchanging our favorite Aubrey/Maturin quotes, and much more. 

Thoughts on Tom Curran by Eric von Aschwege

Obituary from HudsonValley360:

Thomas A. Curran, beloved father, grandfather, brother, spouse and friend, died on March 30, 2023. Tom lived and loved fully, and handled his 2018 cancer diagnosis with courage and realism; he declined suddenly in his final week of life. Tom was 70 years old.

Tom was the son of John and Margot Curran of Kinderhook, who predeceased him. He is survived by his spouse Marcia Curran and their three children, Sam (Laure), Jesse (Alexia), and Lydia, and by his granddaughter Georgia. Tom's nine siblings mourn the loss of their brother, who became the core of the family following their mother's death in 2016: Susanna (Greg) Schindler, Mary, Marcella Kelleher, Robert (Jana), John (Mara), Francis (Carol), Patrick (Judy), Margot (Lloyd Ackert), and Edmund (Nora). Tom is also survived by 14 loving nieces and nephews and dear friend Wendy Carroll.

Tom was an artist, printer, engraver, sculptor, and machinist. And more recently a budding writer, recounting memories from childhood. particularly his younger days exploring the creeks and woods of Spencertown where he was born. Tom found new joy participating in writers' workshops. His homemade pizza was renowned. as were his berry and pumpkin/squash pies which he perfected in recent years.

He graduated from St. loseph's Seminar high school in Callicoon. NY where, he made lifelong friends. He settled in Chatham and worked in industrial manufacturing for many ears until he started his own business. Monster Machine, in 1990. Tom was thrilled when his daughter Lydia joined him as partner in the shop in 2018. Tom's expertise was boundless: he was a problem solver and could make just about anything

Tom served as mayor of the village of Chatham for eight ears, from 2011 to 2019

Tom donated his bod to the anatomical gift program at Albany Medical College. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Historic Eastfield Village in East Nassau. NY  (httos://www.historiceastfield.org/donate) A memorial celebration of Tom's life will be planned for a later date

Copy from HudsonValley360 here.

Eternal rest grant unto Tom, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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