Carroll Lewis Cole, Jr., 77, died at his home in Rockland Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. The cause was liver cancer.

Born June 12, 1932, in Jacksonville, Maine, to Julia Elsemore and Carroll L. Cole, Sr., he attended Rockland High School, where he was a passionate basketball and football player. While serving in the Army, he met Diana Payson of Camden and they married in 1953. Their first of eight children, Paul, was born in 1954.

Carroll opened Pleezing Market in Rockland at the age of 24. After working at Mazzeo’s Market and opening a second store, Quality Market in the Rankin Center, he began Cole’s Sandwiches in the early 1970s. For 20 years he, along with the help of his wife and children, made and delivered millions of sandwiches, including the famous Cole’s Italian, to stores throughout the midcoast area.

An avid outdoorsman, he spent many wonderful days with friends and family in the woods of Burkettville and at Levensaler Pond in Lincolnville. He also enjoyed reading about and collecting material on the history of Rockland, was interested in politics and loved feeding the ponies throughout Maine and New Hampshire.

He enjoyed many nights watching the Red Sox, Celtics and David Letterman with his lovely wife, for whom he mourned intensely after she passed away one year ago.

As testimony to his life, he died in a home overflowing with family and friends who deeply miss the loss of his loquacious conversation, humor and kindness.

Carroll is survived by eight children, Paul A. Cole of Rockland and his wife, Carole E. Morris, of Kerrville, Texas, Herbert J. Cole and his wife, Elizabeth, of Rockland, Judith Sawyer and her husband, Stephen, of Warren, Michael J. Cole of Albion, Madelene Royer and her husband, Rodney, of Rockland, Donald R. Cole and his wife, Laurie, of Rockland, Hollis C. Cole and his wife, Kristen, of Rockland, and Nelson J. Cole and his fiancé, Kjerstin Winn, of Skowhegan; two brothers, Lawrence Cole of Warren and Millard Cole of Washington; three sisters, Ella Michaud of East Hartford, Conn., Leona Hunter of Jacksonville and Ethlyn Preston of Dennysville; 16 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A private memorial service will be held in the Spring.

“No more sickness, no more sorrow, since I’ve laid my burden down.”