Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
Your voice in the Aleutians.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The community of Unalaska is a busy place to live. Our community calendar is full of events and activities. About Town is your source for coverage of community events and sports. KUCB staff writes many of the stories, but we also accept contributions from community members for this section of our website. If you'd like to submit a story to About Town, send it to

In Memoriam: Jeff Currier

Jeff Currier was born in Caribou, Maine, June 16, 1946. He married Gig Currier in February 1967.

They lived a very northern country life in Caribou, Maine with kids Jason and Anica.

One random afternoon, during a “just for fun Sunday drive” on a cold fall day, Jeff asked if Gig would be interested in moving to Alaska.

In August of 1979, the Curriers stepped off Reeve Aleutian Airways, after a stop in Cold Bay, to what felt like Hawaii on the day they arrived. It was sunny, balmy, lush green, and surrounded by water. The public works blue weenie suburban, missing side doors, was waiting. What more was needed?

After picking up luggage, cooler, boxes, and the family dog Muskie, all under the keen watch of Don Hoadley, they loaded everything onto Jack Davison’s skiff and crossed the channel to their first Unalaska home … a chained-down trailer right on the bay. It was love at first sight.

The Curriers came to Unalaska by way of Bob Carl, Unalaska's public works director at the time. The connection was through Bob’s mother, Clarice, who worked with Gig’s brother Mike. Talk about serendipity! This eventful day started an adventure that provided incredible opportunities, valued friendships, and a way of life that the Curriers say offered each of them so very much.

Jeff began work as an equipment operator. Each day he and Leonty Merculief would take the skiff across to work on the "Dutch Harbor side" (this was before there was a bridge between Unalaska Island and Amaknak Island).

Jeff quickly realized that working at the Unalaska public works department suited him. His skills, experience, can-do attitude, and friendliness were just the right fit, in the right place, at the right time. Soon, Jeff was promoted to the position of foreman. Several years later he became the public works director.

The public works crew was responsible, day in and day out, for everything from road maintenance (for instance grading the roads and smoothing out the bigger/deeper pot holes and dragging a big magnet behind a truck to pick the many nails in the road), to power house operation (with underground electricity outages and cable breaks), to wood stove water line repair and maintenance (including getting up to the water dam at Pyramid Valley in a blinding snow storm). Many of these jobs called for creative solutions and repairs, and the crew got it done. Jeff loved all of it.

In September of 1985, Jeff and Gig were on a MarkAir flight from Anchorage to Unalaska when the plane had a “hard landing,” collapsing the landing gear upon arrival. It was a bumpy landing with a thankful stop on the very wet gravel runway.

That flight, unfortunately, made each trip in and out of Unalaska difficult for Jeff. In January 1987, they made the the very hard decision to move.

Jeff passed away very unexpectedly yet peacefully on June 25 in his Anchorage home.

Jeff and his family are forever grateful to Unalaska, a unique and exceptional place to live and a community that contributed to each of them in a myriad of ways.

Jeff was always happy to reminisce about working for the Unalaska Department of Public Works, and the family remains proud of his experience in that role.