Seattle City (spot)Light: Samuel Langi

Samuel Langi has an impressive 38 years working for the City of Seattle. He started at Seattle Public Utilities before moving to Seattle street maintenance. From there, he went to Seattle Parks and Recreation until he transferred to City Light as a laborer for the Skagit Hydroelectric Project. After eight years in Newhalem, he transferred to the Electric Shop at the South Service Center. Eventually, he completed the lineworker apprentice program and worked his way to his current position as a lineworker assigned locator. “This position is a lot easier on my old body!” Samuel said with a laugh.

Samuel is originally from Tonga Island. When he was 16 years old, he moved to the United States and lived in San Francisco for a few short years. “My parents left me at Tonga Island when I was 12 years old,” Samuel explained. “They were working on getting our green card filed. When the time was right, I joined them here in the states and eventually they sent me to live with my aunt in Seattle.” Samuel now lives in Auburn with his wife Julia Maria and helps take care of his mother who lives in Seattle. “I visit my home country now and then,” he shared. “We still have properties there.”

In this week’s (spot)Light, learn more about Samuel’s home country, family and his musical hobbies.

Samuel with two of his daughters and his wife Julia Marie

“I have six kids: three boys and three girls. My oldest is 36 years old; my youngest is 12 years old. My oldest son served in the Army. My second son is still in the Air Force; he’s ready to retire in four years. My youngest son just enlisted with the Marines, but I was trying to get him to join our apprenticeship program!”

“I like to play the piano and guitar at home. My cousin gave me a right-handed guitar in 1979. He was going to Boston for school and left it with me to keep. I’m left-handed so I had to teach myself to play. Also, when we bought our house in Seattle, my parents bought an electric piano. No one ever played it, so when I was bored I learned how to play it. I mainly play jazz and classical music; whatever floats my canoe! I don’t read music, but I could sure give it a try.”

“I’ve been training line apprentices for 18 years. I’m with the Underground Residential Distribution (URD) line workers. We take care of and maintain all the underground services from Denny Way in downtown Seattle to 160th Avenue south. We keep everything running smoothly. It’s good work; we’re working hard for the city and loving every minute! I love working for the City. There are great people and great opportunities. There is always room to learn and the people I work with keep me humble and motivated.”