In Memoriam: Sammy Pierce


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announce with great sorrow the death October 19, 1997 of long-time employee and retiree Samuel F. Pierce.  Sam died at home in Pocasset after a long illness at age 70.

A member of the Steward’s Department aboard WHOI research vessels for 35 years, “Sammy” Pierce was born January 19, 1927 in Falmouth and attended Falmouth schools.  After working in Falmouth as a baker at Sheene Bakery, as a cook at Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, and as a cook at John Sheene Restaurant, Sam joined the WHOI staff in 1946 as a messman aboard the Research Vessel Atlantis and was soon promoted to Assistant Cook and then Cook.  He moved to Research Vessel Bear to serve as Cook before leaving the Institution to serve in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.  Sam returned to WHOI after the war in 1955, serving as Cook on Research Vessels Caryn and Bear before transferring to Research Vessel Crawford in 1956.  Sam was named Chief Cook on Research Vessel Chain in 1960, and except for a brief period as Acting First Cook on Research Vessel Atlantis II in 1967, Sam worked aboard Research Vessel Chain as Cook, Acting Steward, and then Steward from 1960 until its retirement from the fleet in 1975.  He was named Steward aboard Research Vessel Oceanus in January 1976 shortly after the new ship joined the WHOI fleet, and served in that position until 1981.  Same retired from the Institution in 1989.

A resident of Pocasset for the past 20 years, Sam was a member of the Shriners South Shore Harmony Lodge in Wareham.

Surviving are his wife, Ann (Ahonen) Pierce of Pocasset; one son, Samuel F. Pierce, Jr., of Pocasset; two daughters, Karen Pierce of Mashpee and Janet Rose of Arizona; a brother Edward Pierce, of Falmouth; five granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held November 2, 1997 at 3:00 p.m., at the Bourne Methodist Church, 37 Sandwich Road, Bourne.  Burial will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, 101A First Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02154 or the Shriners Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114.


Media Relations Office

(508) 289-3340