Ann Marie (Bissonette) Curran, 77, died unexpectedly at the University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, Vt., on Saturday, December 24, 2022.
Ann was born in Buffalo, N.Y., the daughter of Larry and Mary Bissonette.
She graduated from Mount St. Mary Academy, Kenmore, N.Y., and Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., with a bachelor’s degree in English. She then attended graduate school at the University of Buffalo and earned her master’s degree in communications from the University of Vermont. She met the love of her life and husband of more than 50 years, Fred A. Curran, who was a student at St. John Fisher College, in Rochester.
In 1970, Fred and Ann married and settled in Vermont. She began her career at the PBS affiliate, Vermont Educational Television (now known as Vermont Public), in 1975. Until her retirement, she worked in senior leadership positions, including Manager, Marketing and Communications, through many station name changes. For the last five years, she was the legislative liaison.
Ann’s face was familiar to Vermonters throughout the state due to her numerous appearances on the network’s many pledge drives. Besides the Vermont community, she often worked with national PBS officials, as well as employees of other PBS stations in the country, and in 2009, she was named Broadcaster of the Year by the Vermont Association of Broadcasters. In 2013, the Ann Curran “green room” (where guests waited for interviews) was created by the station to honor her. She retired later that year.
She was an incredible friend to all — her good humor and her willingness to pitch in for anybody was legendary. A good friend and former colleague called her “the best boss I ever had.”
She was a mentor and had an ability to bring the utmost tact and grace to any difficult situation. She started a small group of colleagues who have celebrated each other’s birthdays for decades.
Her humor expressed itself in many ways, including editing spelling errors on menus when dining out with friends and sending out the occasional cartoon that struck her fancy, from a source that she knew some friends could not access otherwise.
Ann and Fred were avid birders and travelers, including multiple trips to Europe and to Sri Lanka and Khartoum. They also enjoyed opera and had a subscription to the Opéra de Montréal. She enjoyed exploring all cuisines and always enjoyed a glass of white wine.
She volunteered for many community organizations. For many years, she was on the board of directors of the ACLU of Vermont, continuing to serve on its development committee beyond her board service. She was also on the board of HomeShare Vermont and sang as an alto with the Burlington Choral Society, serving as its board secretary and publicist. At her death, she was working on its spring 2023 performance.
Ann is survived by her husband, Fred; her brother, Paul Bissonette, and his wife, Barbara Silvestri; her niece, Maya, and husband, David; her nephew, Bohdan, his wife, Melissa, and daughter, Josie; and cousins in New York, California, and Arizona. She was predeceased by her parents; her mother and father-in-law, Alma and Tracy Indivino; and her sister-in-law, Larissa Bissonette.
In Ann’s memory, donations are encouraged in her name to: Habitat for Humanity, the ACLU of Vermont, HomeShare Vermont, or the Burlington Choral Society.
A memorial service will be held in the spring.