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Memorials: Honolulu Friends Meeting

Anne Curtis Fong

Date of birth

Jan. 9, 1930

Date of death

Dec. 28, 2014


Honolulu Friends Meeting

Memorial minute

Anne Curtiss Fong was born on January 9th, 1930, in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Edna Sutter and John Shelton Curtiss, and the sister of John Curtiss. She died on December 28th, 2014.

Anne was a translator, teacher, nurse, medical transcriptionist, mother, grandmother, farmer, and leader.

Her father was a scholar of Russian History and played a government role in interacting with representatives from the Soviet Union during the era of the Second World War.

Anne’s childhood and young adulthood included sailing boats on the Hudson River and off Long Island and she was quite accomplished in that field.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in 1951, married Merwin Fong in 1954 in New York, and moved to Hawaiʻi in 1956, where she had three children, Loki, Peter, and Mary. She and Merwin divorced in 1968. In addition to her children, Anne is survived by grandchildren Mahina and Gabriel Keller, Seth and Chloe Frasier, and her brother John, his wife Lynne, and their children Jay, Elizabeth, Jim and Mary Anne.

Raising the children, Anne worked and also continued to study, earning a Master’s degree in 1970 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and then a Doctorate in French Literature from Duke University in North Carolina in 1974. The academic world was a major part of her life for many years.

It was in North Carolina where she began attending Quaker Meeting, and she continued to do so when she returned with her children to Honolulu. After some years attending, she joined Honolulu Friends Meeting in 1977.

Later she moved from Nuʻuanu to a farm lot in Waimānalo and began a long period of involvement with farming. She later sold that lot and bought another on the Hāmākua coast of Hawaiʻi island where she raised dairy goats. She later retired from that work and resettled on Oʻahu in Kailua.

Over the years, involvement with Honolulu Friends Meeting included holding nearly all responsible positions at one time or another, always being happy and willing to lend assistance where it was needed.

Indeed, if there was one thing that she had little patience for, it was folks who would claim they had no time to assist with one thing or another. She’d comment that at one time she was working, raising three kids, doing a PhD, and she still had time to serve on committees with her local Meeting in North Carolina.

She inherited a sense of political progressivism from her parents, and demonstrated this in race relations while in the South, and in general in her life. Part of this was a clear sense of women’s rights, something she had continued from her mother.

Incredibly alert and insightful to the very end, she was a person noted for her humility -- she had lived many lives and careers, and did not flaunt such things. She cared for family, friends, people, the Meeting here, and was always grateful for the blessings she had received over her life.