Patriots News · Curtis Nation mourns the loss of 4 of their own


It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of four fallen Patriots within a short period of time of each other. Mrs. Patricia Dean, Mr. Bill Curl, Coach Francis Lanzetta and student Torin Stipe.

Mrs. Patricia Dean is not an alum, but all of her children went to John Curtis, as do her grandchildren. Mrs. Dean was always by the side of Mr. Curtis Sr.’s confidant and lawyer, Mr. Herbert Dean. Mr. Dean passed away years ago, but Mrs. Dean remained constant in the Patriot family. Her son, Thomas, is currently on staff as the school’s band director. Mrs. Dean, who was a practicing lawyer, was always around school helping in numerous ways. She will be greatly missed.

Like Mrs. Dean, Mr. Bill Curl was also not an alum. After moving to New Orleans to join the Tulane University athletics department as a sports information director, he began following the Patriots closely. His eye towards the Patriots continued to remain locked on the school as he joined the Louisiana Superdome as the public relations director. Mr. Curl’s two sons, Scott and Rocky, are John Curtis graduates. Mr. Curl became a staff member in 2011 as a public relations manager. He will be greatly missed in and around campus.

Coach Francis Lanzetta joined up with the Patriots as a part time elementary/junior high football coach in 1995. He  quickly decided he wanted to help out with the Patriot varsity football team where he helped coach the offensive backfield and the running backs. Coach Francis’ son, Nino, is also a John Curtis graduate.  Coach Francis also helped full time strength coach, Tommy Fabacher, in the weight room. He helped oversee uncountable state championship athletes and developed a deep bond with those he came in contact with. Coach Francis stepped away from varsity football, but remained a coach on the junior high team dedicating his time and services to the development of numerous young football players in the Patriot program.

Torin Stipe was primed and ready to begin his junior year at John Curtis this year. He was a quiet, unassuming kid who came to John Curtis as a freshman. He quickly joined the basketball team and found several niches in the school. You can’t find one person in school to say one negative comment about Torin. He was smart, a joy to have in class, easy to get along with, kind and an extremely hard worker. Torin wasn’t blessed with much talent but worked his way into playing time this summer on the boys basketball team. Torin passed away in his sleep Tuesday night from what the doctors think was an aneurysm. Torin will be greatly missed among his classmates, teachers, staff and administration.

The John Curtis Christian School family covets your prayers during this time of grieving and healing. We thank our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for giving us a a peace that passes all human understanding.