Aug. 16, 1918 – Oct. 21, 2014
LEWISTON — Aldana Pearl (Curtis) Mottram, 96, died Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Marshwood Center in Lewiston.
Living to the age of 96, Pearl Mottram is believed to be the longest living documented Curtis in the history of an American family, whose roots to America go back to 1632, with ship passage from England aboard the “Lyon.”
Her Curtis family roots as Maine residents are recorded as beginning in Harpswell in 1744 — 32 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and 78 years before the state of Maine was established.
Her grandmother on her father’s side, Rosilla (Dunham) Curtis, is believed to have been born around 1850 — 11 years before the American Civil War — a mere three family generations spanning approximately 164 years, or approximately 70 percent of all United States history.
Her father, Linwood Lee Curtis, was born on Sept. 9, 1873 — which means that the immediate family of Linwood and Lillian Curtis encompassed 141 years, or approximately 60 percent of all United States history; 60 percent of all United States history — within one immediate family — from the birth of a father to the death of his final child.
With her death, Pearl Mottram ends the remarkable immediate family of Linwood and Lillian Curtis of Lisbon Falls and their 14 children — whose 14 births spanned 27 years from 1899 to 1926 — 115 years from the birth of the first child to the death of the last of the 14 children.
Born in West Bowdoin, Pearl grew up in Lisbon Falls, the 11th of 14 children, enjoying her nine brothers and three sisters. Her fourth sister, Eughenia, died at 6 months, three years before Pearl was born.
Her father, Linwood, a blacksmith in Lisbon Falls, died in 1930 at age 57, shortly after Pearl had just turned 12 years old.
The youngest of five girls — Pearl greatly loved her parents, writing lengthy poetic tributes to each parent in deep admiration of her father’s blacksmithing strength and her mother’s love and leadership. Pearl also enjoyed being the big sister to her final three brothers — Norman, Ronald and Martin — and often recalled how they loved skating on the frozen Androscoggin River as fun-loving children of a simpler time.
An outstanding student at Lisbon Falls High School, Pearl graduated in 1937. Pearl would later become a pioneer in women’s employment, with a banking position at a time when such employment for women was considered rare. Pearl went on to enjoy a career in banking at Auburn Savings and Loan.
Pearl married the love of her life, George Samuel Mottram, a tobacco manager, on Nov. 2, 1946. During their life together, Pearl and George enjoyed doing many things together, including fishing many times in the Rangeley area. Pearl and George enjoyed a wonderful 48-year marriage, living on Turner Street in Auburn, until George’s passing on July 5, 1994. They had no children.
A testament to the capacity of the human heart to endure heartache, Pearl was predeceased by all 15 other members of her immediate family — both of her parents and all 13 of her brothers and sisters: Eughenia Leah (1915); parent, Linwood Lee (1930); Albert Harlan (1936); Joseph Franklin LeRoy (1954); parent, Lillian Rebecca (Tuttle) (1963); Eldren “Joe” Frederick (1973); Elmer Linwood (1979); Alden Hilton (1980); Beatrice Marion (1982); Carlyiss Narean (1987); Forrest Melvin (1994); Vesta Rosamond (1997); Hugh Martin (2008); Norman Stetson (2011); and Ronald Gordon (2012). Additional predeceased relatives include numerous brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces.
Pearl is survived by three sisters-in-law, Phyllis Louise (Anderson) Curtis and Beryl Mottram, both of Auburn, and Geneva Beauregard (Adrian) of Lewiston; as well as by numerous nephews and nieces, many of whom have second- and third-generation children of their own.
Special recognition needs to be paid to Marshwood Center for years of outstanding love and care of Pearl, who will be measurably missed by the staff; as well as special recognition to Pearl’s primary legal guardian, Malcolm Philbrook, who protected Pearl’s best interests in the final years of her life.
Words of condolence and tributes may be shared with Pearl’s family and friends at www.thefortingroupauburn.com.