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Tuesday, August 29, 2023
2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)
Dr. Brigitte Curtis died on August 10th, 2023, at the age of 63 at her home in Lubbock, Texas.
Born on January 4th, 1960, in Boulder, Colorado, Brigitte was the second of Dr. George William (Bill) Curtis and Mary Catherine (Mag) Magrath’s four children. Bill, an astrogeophysicist by training, emigrated to the United States after serving in the Belgian Underground during WWII. Mag, raised in McCook, Nebraska, received a Master’s degree in chemistry and studied French, passions she carried into her parenting and cooking.
Brigitte and her three siblings, Kevin, Sean, and Moira were raised in a deeply loving home that emphasized excellence in all pursuits, be they academic or athletic. A French-speaking household, the family could be found splitting their time between the tennis court and the various ski slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Brigitte became known for maintaining the stellar GPA required by her parents, even while skipping class on Fridays to ski. The four siblings gained a reputation for defying authority and creating mischief, a familial trait from both parents, which continues to be passed through generations. The family spent their summers in Nebraska where Brigitte enjoyed time with her cousins and developed what would prove to be a lifelong love for animals through her Uncle’s veterinary practice.
Brigitte began her undergraduate studies at the University of Santa Clara where she met Lawrence (Larry) Martinelli, the father of her four children, and added beaches to her list of love for nature. She finalized her bachelor’s degree in French Literature at the University of Colorado in 1982. Brigitte continued her studies at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, where she graduated with her M.D. in 1988. Living on her own at the time, a string of burglaries motivated her to become a dog owner. Caring for animals would prove to be a life-long passion, practically beyond reason. Brigitte returned to the beach to complete her residency and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
Brigitte moved to Lubbock in 1993. It was here she became a mother, the title she held closest to her heart. Inspired by her own upbringing, she raised her four children, Alexander, Timothy, Ariane and Peter, with the same emphasis on education and love of the outdoors. Countless trips to her hometown of Boulder were her way of ensuring a lifelong connection between her children, her parents, and the Rocky Mountains.
Whether taking her daughter to horse lessons or her sons to soccer and basketball, she was ever-present at her children’s extracurricular activities, none of which were tennis much to her disappointment. Brigitte’s house was truly a home. This was true not only for her children but also for their friends and an ever-expanding host of animals: dogs, cats, and anything else that needed love. Outside of her children, Brigitte loved gardening, reading, coffee, good wine, current events, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, baking, and Hallmark movies.
Brigitte’s move to Lubbock also started her career as a psychiatrist. Over her 30-year career, she combined all the same characteristics that made her a wonderful mother with her professional training to help an uncountable number of people. Along with her private practice, she worked with numerous state-funded healthcare facilities including Canyon Lakes Residential Treatment Center, Boys Ranch and StarCare. Dr. Curtis’ passion for helping others was unparalleled. Answering calls at all times of the day, she provided a listening and empathetic ear to all those in her care. Patients found in her a safe haven to share their vulnerabilities without the fear of judgment or stigma. She will be remembered for her dedication to the mental health and well-being of others, qualities which made her a pillar of the community in Lubbock and throughout the region.
Brigitte is survived by her four children, Alexander Martinelli (Grinnell, IA), Timothy Martinelli (Lubbock, TX), Ariane Martinelli (Lubbock, TX) and Peter Martinelli (Lubbock, TX); three siblings, Kevin Curtis (Silver Spring, MD), Sean Curtis (Chappaqua, NY), and Moira Curtis McCabe (Denver, CO); and four dogs and at least two cats.
The family is hosting a Celebration of Life Memorial Service on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 at 2 PM at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1501 University Avenue in Lubbock, and welcomes the presence of any and all who loved Brigitte. A Celebration of Life will also be held at a future date in Boulder, CO. Reverend Paige McKay of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and Reverend Ann Akin of St. John's United Methodist Church will be the officiants. Celebration of Life Memorial Services are under the personal care and direction of Combest Family Funeral Home.
Immediately following services at St. John's United Methodist Church, the family will host a reception at 4 PM to receive friends at the Spirit Ranch, 701 Regis Street in Lubbock. The family invites all that would like to attend the reception and express their condolences, please proceed to the Spirit Ranch once the services have concluded.
For those who will be unable to attend the Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Dr. Curtis, St. John's United Methodist Church will be hosting a livestream of the service. To view the livestream, a few minutes prior to the service, go to https://bit.ly/sjumcYT.