"Mankind is One"


Curt was born in Los Angeles, California in the days when life there was still influenced by the mild climate and the legacy of Spanish Haciendados. It was a time before Freeways, Smog and millions of mid-west retirees who converted orange groves into housing developments. He attended schools in Highland Park and graduated from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. Shortly after graduation, Curt and Rachel Whitsell were married, having been sweethearts during high school and college days. Rachel had previously completed her nurse's training with an RN degree.


After working two years for a steel tank manufacturer, Curt began working for the West Coast subsidiary or Mobil Corporation in technical and engineering departments. Curt later became head of West Coast engineering and then managed two West Coast Mobil refineries. In 1965 he was transferred to Mobil's headquarters in New York City to head up a new world-wide Environ¬mental Affairs department. In 1975 he retired and returned to Bellingham, Washington where he and Rachel had previously spent many happy years with their growing family and friends. His engineering skills were put to good use as he designed their retirement home on Lake Whatcom and they have con¬tinued to enjoy a busy and productive life. Since retirement, Curt and his wife Rachel spend time travelling, golfing or bowling, and visiting with or being handy-man for their four chi1dren and 10 grandchildren (all of whom live in Washington).


Curt has been involved in many areas of community activity having served as President of the Chamber of Commerce and on the boards of St. Luke's Hospital, the YMCA, the United Fund, the Whatcom Medical Bureau and the Whatcom Museum Foundation. He has a1so been a member of the Board of Trustees of the First Congregational Church. In 1962 he was President of the Association of Washington Business, an organization representing all major retail and industrial firms operating in the state.


Curt has been a member of the Bellingham Rotary Club for a total of 18 years, serving as President in 1962-63. He also had a year's Rotary service in Torrance, California while he was a Refinery Manager in that area.


During his year as Governor, four new clubs were chartered--Chilliwack Fraser, Hecate Straits (Prince Rupert), South Whidbey and Snohomish East County. The latter two clubs were organized during Jack Hotells year. Curt feels that the highlight of his year was the excellent District Conference held in Bellingham. It was well attended and focused on Rotary inspiration and youth programs. This included Group Study Exchange visitors from Norway. International Students and Rotary Foundation Scholars from the District and Rotaract Club members.

His Bellingham Rotary Club members honored Curt by making him a Paul Harris Fellow on the occasion of his official visit to the club. His wife Rachel says it was the one time during the year he became comp1etely speechless.

Rotary Club of Bellingham