CLEO PATRICIA CURD
December 5, 1941 to December 2, 2019
“The heart and soul of our family”
Cleo Patricia Curd—a quiet philanthropist and intensely devoted wife, mother, and entrepreneur, whose creativity and intellect served family, friends and community alike—passed away on December 2nd, in Las Vegas, NV, her husband at her side.
She was 77.
“Cleo” did not like her first name and insisted on being called Pat. It suited the San-Francisco-raised gal with the mid-Western temperament just fine. When her kids called her “the heart of our family”, you believed it. Yet, her inventive flair and compassionate nature made for the gracious, sophisticated, caring person she was. Frequently referred to as “sweet Pat”, she was not only sweet she was also smart and ambitious. And she loved a good joke.
Helping-hand skills honed early
The oldest of five children, Pat was born December 5, 1941, in Mansfield, Louisiana, to Robert Charles, an auto mechanic, and Mary Jamerson Charles, a USPS sorter. When Pat was two years old, the trio moved to San Francisco.
Pat’s helping-hand skills were honed early as each of her four siblings—Margaret, Wayne, Nevone, and Darryl—arrived. Negotiating within the loving, rambunctious family undoubtedly led to Pat’s eventual decision to obtain a degree in Psychology at San Francisco State University.
Pat Charles met the love of her life, Walter Curd, in 1970. Although Walter was supposed to date Pat’s friend, he clearly had his eye on the petite, 5-foot-5, “bundle of fabulousness”, as daughter Terri calls her mom. He fell for Pat at first sight.
They married in a formal wedding in San Francisco in October of 1972. Never one for convention, Pat chose fall colors for the theme. To ensure everything looked as she envisioned it, she designed and sewed the bridesmaids and flower girl dresses, as well as her wedding gown. Only her brilliant smile and sparkling eyes surpassed her attire.
Keen eye for design
Just as Pat made her own wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses, she did the same for her sister, Margaret, and later for daughter Terri. Always looking for ideas, she consumed fashion magazines and kept a keen eye out for design when shopping.
Family meant everything to Pat. She and Walter had three children, Terri, Jeremy, and Jarrett, the lights of her life. Eventually, her daughter added to her joy by having two grandchildren, Jessica and Jacob.
Making a home for her husband and kids allowed Pat to indulge in her favorite hobbies, interior design and sewing—everything from clothes to drapes to chair covers. She made drapes for each of her houses, and even upholstered several pieces of furniture. But she was famous for her eveningwear. Indeed, Pat never wore the same cocktail dress twice. And to Walter’s dismay, each new creation required a new pair of shoes, purse, and accessories to match!
Patience and understanding
Pat brought up her children with patience and understanding. Yet, she had little tolerance for what she called “half stepping”. She never raised her voice, but would retaliate with a terse remark like, “Well, if you had done it right the first time…”
Her nurturing skills were what stood out. Supportive of Jeremy’s sports ambitions, Jarrett’s musical talents, and Terri’s dance abilities, Pat insured the family did things together, whether it was going to Lake Tahoe for summer vacations or planning and hosting family reunions. At every occasion, you could count on her famous peach cobbler and sweet potato pie.
Pat’s career path began with the City and County of San Francisco, where she worked as a personnel manager. She went from there to UC Berkeley, where she worked as the Environmental Services Director. Ultimately, she was hired as a policy director for the California State Bar Association.
An entrepreneur at heart
An entrepreneur at heart, Pat discovered that her joyful personality made her an ideal fit in the hospitality industry. She first purchased a Jack in the Box in Castro Valley, CA, which she later sold to buy the Vista Bar & Restaurant and the DC-3 Diner at the San Francisco Airport. Simultaneously, she and Walter opened Clouds, a white tablecloth restaurant, in the Yerba Buena Center. Even though they earned a reputation for the exceptional service, as well as cuisine, the time eventually came for them to retire.
They chose Las Vegas, NV.
The lure of entrepreneurship too great, retirement hardly slowed them down, and they ended up purchasing a Starbucks in the Las Vegas Convention Center. After five years, they embarked full time on their first love, travel. The two of them had always journeyed to far off places, lugging their young children with them to various continents.
Pat belonged to Jones United Methodist Church and relished volunteering. A proud alumni of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority and member of The Chums Inc. (a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for women to meet in friendship and use their many talents in service to the community), Pat also loved to dance.
The only one who could Tango
Once, when she and Walter traveled to Mendoza, Argentina with a group, they went to a night club full of Chilean tourists. Pat was delighted to hear the live music and see people doing the Tango. She was the only one in their group able to perform the dance.
Then, in 2018, Pat developed ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Although she lost much of her physical abilities, she could still communicate with her loved ones with those expressive eyes.
Pre-deceased by her sister Margaret, brother Darryl, and son Jarrett, Pat is survived by her husband, Walter Curd, and their children, Terri and Jeremy; her grandchildren Jessica and Jacob; her brother Wayne, sister Nevone, and her mother Mary Charles.
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations be sent to your local children’s charity, in the name of Patricia Curd. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 15th at 11 AM at The Brazil Room in Tilden Regional Park, at Shasta & Wildcat Canyon Roads, Berkeley, CA 94708.
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations be sent to your local children’s charity on behalf of Patricia Curd.