Memorial Service for Longtime Defender of Secure Retirement Held Oct. 13

Michael J. Curran, a former member of TEXPERS' Board of Directors, died on Oct. 5.

A Houston resident, Curran, 75, worked as a CPA for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. After he retired from the transit authority, he became an active member of TEXPERS and served two full terms on its Board of Directors between 2006 and 2014. 

John "JD" Davis, who served with Curran on the TEXPERS Board, says he "was a dedicated trustee to all public employees, and he never forgot the responsibility that came with his position." Davis posted the comment to a memorial page set up to honor Curran, whom he called his friend.

"I was always glad to see him, and I am sorry I didn't get to shake his hand one more time before he crossed over to be with all our friends on the other side," Davis wrote. "Rest peacefully, dear friend."

Curran was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 to the Board's Authority/District Position No. 10. Denise Crandon succeeded him in 2014. However, in 2017, the Board called on Curran to fill the position again after Crandon announced that she could not complete her term. A staunch supporter of public employee pensions, Curran agreed to fill the position until the next election in 2018.

TEXPERS Board Member Paul Brown says Curran was a staunch supporter of public employee pensions.

"He was a great man," said Larry Reed, a current member of the TEXPERS Board who served with Curran. "He was a quiet man; however, when he spoke, his opinions were highly regarded."

But pensions aren’t all he was known for, according to those leaving notes to his memorial page online. He was also an avid golfer.

Reed and other TEXPERS members frequently played golf with Curran. While retired, Curran scored three holes-in-one.

Curran was born and raised in Ohio, according to his obituary posted to He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and served in the US Army Reserve. Before making his way to Texas, he lived in Colorado and Kansas.

He met his wife, Leslie Bay Steen, when he moved to Houston. The couple liked to travel and going to casinos, according to the obituary.

He often had dogs around. And he was known to be a family man, devoted to his nieces and nephews. He is survived by his wife and his stepchildren, Sean Kristian Steen and Karl Oddvar Steen.

A memorial service honoring Curran took place on Oct. 13 in Houston. The family is asking friends and colleagues of Curran to leave online condolences on his memorial page: Remembrances will be used in a keepsake for the family, according to the site.

About the Author:
Allen Jones is Director of Communications and Event Marketing for TEXPERS. He joined the association in 2017.
Follow TEXPERS on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn as well as visit our website for the latest news about Texas' public pension industry. 
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