The Curran family came to Floral Park in 1939, when Nicki’s paternal grandfather built the iconic home at 2204 Victoria Drive. He and his wife raised their 2 sons and 3 daughters there. And the home stayed in the family until the early 1970’s.
In 1935, Frank purchased 3 lumber yards in Santa Ana, Orange, and at Acacia & Lake in Huntington Beach. He later bought 3 more yards. He built the City Hall in downtown Santa Ana. In the 1950’s, Frank Jr., Nicki’s Dad, had taken over the running of the yards.
In 1942, Frank Jr. and his wife, Nan (Mead), bought the property at 533 W. Santa Clara Avenue and built a home there for their 4 children – Dwight (deceased), Cecelia (Jim Segurson), Denny (Marianne) and Nicki. The 4 Currans all went to St. Joseph Elementary School, Mater Dei High School and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Growing up there were lots of family and friends close by.
Nan’s Family owned Orange Park property off Chapman Avenue near Irvine Park. One of the reservoirs to help water the trees became Curran’s Lake. Outfitted with a sand area, dressing room, barbeque, benches and tables, and fire pit, the lake was wonderful for swimming – even with a diving board – and rowing with it’s own boat. Sometimes it was even good for fishing. Needless to say, a favorite spot until it was sold to developers.
In 1964, the Curran’s put a pool in the backyard. Nicki spent several summers teaching swimming to many of the children of the neighborhood.
Nicki graduated from Loyola-Marymount and began her career as a PE teacher and coach at Cornelia Connelly High School. Later, she went back to earn her Master’s Degree in Family Counseling from the University of San Francisco. That was a career designed for her. She especially loved working with children and youth. She also spent time as an “emergency counselor” who went to work and school sites after major issues, to help those involved work through their concerns.
In 1996, after the death of her father, Nicki bought the house at 533 and “moved back home”. She continued to keep the pool open for friends and family, and when asked, she continued with occasional swim lessons for friends and family.
The Floral Park Home Tour started in 1992. Mary Druitt began as the Docent co-ordinator with a yellow pad, pencil, phone and bicycle for getting around on tour day. By the early 2000’s, Nicki was her “right hand lady”, and eventually took over the entire job. Nicki is the one who got everything on computer – including volunteer schedules, home packets with descriptions, Floral Park Home Tour year pins for docents and much more. Many of us will fondly remember Nicki, with her dog Copper, “tooling” around on Home Tour Weekends in her trusty golf cart (see picture).
Nicki was also an active member of the Floral Park Neighborhood Association. During her tenure, she was awarded a Neighborhood Award from Comcast and the Legacy Award from Floral Park.
Unfortunately, Nicki was unable to continue living at home for the last year or so. She was well cared for, and kept up faithfully with the “doings” of Floral Park. She attended home tours and other events that the Covid Pandemic Closures did not postpone.
Nicki will be remembered for her smile, her animals, her love of animals, her counseling expertise, and her love of anything to do with Floral Park.
(and the house? 533 has stayed in the family! Nicki’s niece, Sheila, has bought it. Frank and Nan were Sheila’s grandparents. So another generation will be a Floral Park fan!)