Janis Lee Curran, a former University of Maryland grants application writer, died of undetermined causes Tuesday at her Cockeysville home. She was 55.
Born Janis Lee Hardwick in Washington, she moved to Baltimore's Northwood neighborhood and was a 1969 Northern High School graduate. She earned a sociology degree at Syracuse University.
Beginning in the 1980s, she worked in pediatrics grants and contracts at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in downtown Baltimore, and after a decade retired on a medical disability.
"She was charismatic, and people wanted to be around her," said a daughter, Sara Behnaz Bagheri of Towson. "She could light up a room with her warm heart. She described herself as a free spirit."
She was a member of Epworth United Methodist Church in Cockeysville and volunteered at its thrift shop weekly.
Her husband of four years, Michael Lee Curran, died in 2001. Her marriages to Behzad R. Bagheri and Erik V. Laustsen ended in divorce.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road in Rodgers Forge.
She is also survived by another daughter, Aria Ellen Bagheri of Towson; and her mother, Gertrude Hardwick of Baltimore.