Sam Currey

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Longtime Malibu Road resident Sam Currey died Aug. 21. He was 79. Currey’s parents built the Malibu Road house 50 years ago.

A diver and beach lover, Currey was born June 14, 1925 in Evanston, Ill. An all-Illinois football player at Evanston High School, he was awarded a football scholarship to USC, but Pearl Harbor intervened. Currey joined the Merchant Marine Corp and served during World War II. After his ship blew up in the Yangtze River at the end of the war, Currey returned to the United States. USC honored his football scholarship.

At college, Currey studied international relations and was president of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Upon graduation in 1951, he traveled throughout Europe on motorcycles with five friends.

In August 1953, Currey married Jan Littell. He then began a successful career building homes in Encino, Calabasas, Malibu and Pebble Beach.

Currey formed a partnership with fellow USC alumnus Tom Riach called the Currey-Riach Co. The company has built homes throughout Southern California and Nevada. It was also instrumental in the development of the city of Calabasas, donating land for parks and municipal buildings.

Last year, Currey and his wife celebrated their 50th anniversary with a gala bash. They were frequent travelers to faraway places. Friends say Currey’s greatest joy was sitting on the beach deck, looking at the ocean, where he read and socialized with friends. He was able to do that until a few days before his death.

Currey is survived by his wife, Jan; his daughter, Elizabeth Wetton and her husband, Mark; his son, Matthew and his wife, Aly; his grandchildren, Samantha, Madison, Patrick, Hannah and Cameron; and his sisters, Nancy Arthur Gill and Barbara Wood Factor.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Currey’s memory to Hillside House, which is a residential treatment center for people with mental disabilities. Checks should be sent to 1235 Veronica Springs Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. More information may be obtained by calling Currey-Rich Co. at 818.222.6800.