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Lucile Atcherson Curtis, First Woman In U.S. Foreign Service

May 9, 1986 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Lucile Atcherson Curtis, the first woman to serve in the U.S. Foreign Service, died Thursday. She was 91.

During World War I, she helped establish the Society for Devastated France and was honored by the French government for her relief work during the war.

After President Warren Harding appointed her to the Foreign Service in 1922, she served in France, Switzerland, Haiti and Panama. She resigned in 1927 to marry George M. Curtis, a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago.

A lifelong resident of Columbus, Mrs. Curtis was a founder of several civic institutions including the Columbus Council on World Affairs, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the visiting nurse service. She served on virtually every health and cultural organization board in central Ohio.

In 1978, she returned to the State Department for a day honoring her and Clifton R. Wharton, the Foreign Service’s first black. The city of Columbus celebrated a day in her honor the same year.

Mrs. Curtis is survived by two daughters, Charlotte Curtis, associate editor of The New York Times, and Mary Curtis Davey of Los Altos, Calif.; three grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.