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Samuel Hatch Pierce ’43

A picture of Sam Pierce

Samuel Hatch Pierce ’43, April 20, 2009, in Portland, from multiple strokes, a condition diagnosed in 2007. Sam attended Reed as a day-dodger for three years, intent on majoring in pre-law, before he was drafted into the army in 1942. In his oral history interview with Barbara Carter Radin ’75 in 2005, Sam mentioned that he had a ham radio hobby and built his own equipment, which attracted the attention of the draft board. “They were looking for guys like me. Because of my hobby of ham radio, I was put in the signal corps and sent to Missouri. From there, I was channeled into radar training in Kansas City, and then Florida. Didn't have to be professors or anything. Had to be able to learn.” In 1946, he returned to Reed for an additional year of study; his work in radar had inspired an academic focus in physics. He took night classes at Multnomah College (now, University of Portland) and also at Portland State, where he completed a BS in physics in 1960. Sam's sister, Clara Pierce Shaffer ’40, introduced Lucille Harris ’43 to her brother; Lucille and Sam were married in April 1943. The couple raised their family in the Eastmoreland neighborhood, where they lived for 32 years. Sam built a business selling and repairing television and radio, public address equipment, and sales-Sam Pierce Radio and TV—in Westmoreland on Southeast Milwaukie Avenue. He was active in the neighborhood communities, supporting scouting and PTA activities and coaching youth baseball (he played baseball for two years at Reed), and was a member of the Southeast Portland Rotary and All Saints Episcopal Church. Following retirement in 1985, the couple moved to a home they built at Klipsan Beach, Washington. There, he volunteered for the Water Music Festival, the Ocean Park Timberland Library, St. Peter Episcopal Church, and he was a charter member of the Peninsula Rotary Club. His love of golf was a constant throughout his life. Sam is remembered as a man of wit, charm, and great personal warmth. Survivors include Lucille, sons Gregory W. Pierce ’70 and Sam (III), and daughters Nancy and Julie. Sam's sister Barbara Pierce Wilkinson ’37 and cousin Walter Durham Jr. ’32 also attended Reed.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2009

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