Samuel Joseph Curtis

Samuel Joseph Curtis



Samuel (Sam) Joseph Curtis was born March 1890 in North Carolina. His family later moved to the logging town of Winlock, Washington. He attended Washington State College (WSU) in Pullman, Washington, graduating in 1925 with degrees in agriculture and education.  His college studies were interrupted by enlistment in the US Army during World War I, stationed in Lyon, France.  He went on to receive his Masters Degree in Education from Columbia University in 1933, and in 1957 a Masters Degree in social work from the University of Washington.

Curtis married Elizabeth Williams in 1926.  They were commissioned by the Congregational Church and traveled to Southern Rhodesia to serve as missionaries at Mount Selinda Mission.  Sam worked as an agricultural specialist and principal of the Mount Selinda teacher training school.  Elizabeth taught home economics in nutrition, sewing and childcare to the women. The Curtis’ retuned home in 1939, after 12 years in Africa.

Sam had a number of “careers” upon his return.  He taught agriculture at a local high school; worked as an inspector at Boeing during WWII; and was a social worker with the Washington State Department of Public Assistance – eventually becoming Supervisor of the Children’s Division. 

After retiring in 1966, he helped organize the FISH Food Bank in Gig Harbor. Elizabeth died in 1972. Sam died June 1995.


  • Mark Loomis