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Thomas S. Curren
April 15, 1949 ~ December 30, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old
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Thomas S. Curren died peacefully in his sleep on December 30, 2023. Born to George and
Elisabeth Curren in Boston and brought up in Melrose, Massachusetts, Tom's childhood interest
in history and the natural world was fostered and supported by his parents. His love for music
and a deep connection to the Boston-Cambridge folk revival blossomed during high school.
After a short stint at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, he became a conscientious
objector to the Vietnam War and embarked on a remarkable journey of service and dedication.
In 1969, he moved to New Hampshire, where he spent over 25 years learning traditional skills,
living off the grid, and running a self-sufficient family farm.
His professional career began in human services at the Spaulding Youth Center, where later he
served as chief development officer before holding similar positions at the Crotched Mountain
Foundation and the New Hampton School. His work in conservation began as the executive
director at the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. Tom then spent eight years as a project
director for the Pew Charitable Trusts, overseeing a challenge grant program. Over the course
of Tom's career, he successfully protected over 900,000 acres of conservation land across
seven states in the northeast.
Beyond his professional achievements, Tom was a writer, farmer, conservationist, and historian.
His deep involvement in community affairs included serving as town selectman, town
moderator, and as a nonprofit consultant. Tom volunteered for the Folk New England Archive at
the University of Massachusetts, reflecting his commitment to preserving the rich tapestry of
For 22 years, Tom made beanhole beans for Old Home Days in Bridgewater,
New Hampshire and together with his wife, Kathy, helped to preserve heirloom vegetable
varieties while building community through horticulture education in Danbury, NH. He built a 19-
foot Rangeley rowboat and navigated it in lakes and riverways throughout New England.
An authority on New England culture and landscape, Tom's literary contributions included the
acclaimed book, "All Join Hands," "I Believe I’ll Go Back Home: Roots and Revival in New
England Folk Music," as well as four histories of New Hampshire towns. As a member of the
music group "The Good Old Plough" he performed a program of 18th and 19th-century New
Hampshire farm songs at historical societies and museums.
He served as Chairman of the Board of Folk New England, and a former trustee of the Crotched
Mountain Foundation, Inherit New Hampshire, the Sant Bani School, and Old Sturbridge Village
in Massachusetts. He was a consultant at Historic Deerfield and a past Board President of the
Franklin Unitarian Church, Bristol Historical Society, New Hampshire Special Education
Association, and Bridgewater Old Home Association.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, folklorist Kathy Neustadt of York, ME; his brothers, Mike
Curren (Paula) of Reading, MA and Chris Curren (Santi) of Wickford, RI; daughters, Molly
Curren Rowles (Dustin) of Portland, ME, and Becca Kronenbitter (Kevin) of Grand Isle, VT;
step-children, Casey Cross Sussman (Daniel) of Dartmouth, MA, and Nick Cross (Kate) of Chicago, Il;
grandchildren Declan, Hattie, Lila, Isla, and London; and a massive library of books and music.
A memorial service to celebrate Tom's life will be announced soon. We encourage you to keep
a weather eye out, listen to The Band and Bob Dylan, and root for the Boston Red Sox in his
memory. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the charity of your choice
reflecting Tom's love of family and community.