APPLETON — Allan Baker Cox left the world and the people he loved on Aug. 24, 2022. He was 83. Allan had not been in strong health for some time, but though by the end he no longer could taste food or drink, or tell long, humorous stories, he never relinquished his enjoyment of life, nor did he lose the astounding accuracy of his memory.

Allan was a man who knew what things were called and how they worked. He loved symmetry and order. He loved the Rolling Stones and traditional New England architecture. He loved motorcycles (especially BSAs), wooden sailboats (especially his sloop, Saga), and steam trains (especially on the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway). He was a master carpenter, a fine sailor, and a wonderful writer. Allan was scrupulous about using proper terminology in all circumstances, and he was drolly self-aware about it: His adherence to correct maritime lingo he called “sea mouth.”

Allan was born Sept. 26, 1938, in Brockton, Massachusetts, the first of three sons of Allan Nelson Cox and Barbara Baker Cox. He grew up on a small farmstead set on sandy red soil surrounded by tobacco fields in Manchester, Connecticut. Allan and his brothers learned from their father to appreciate all that grew on their land and all that could be made with tools in the workshop. The boys learned from their mother to value art, literature, and music. In 1956, Allan entered the University of Connecticut but found the experience disappointing and unsuccessful, so he left school and enlisted in the U.S. Army. In the service, Allan learned to operate and maintain bulldozers and ten-wheel hauling trucks. He also became adept at jumping from airplanes through a terrifying training process that required recruits to jump repeatedly from a high tower “until we stopped screaming,” as he put it later. After three years with the Army in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, Allan returned to the United States with great enthusiasm for the German language and European culture and a determination to return to the Continent for more adventures.

In 1962, Allan and his younger brother, Bob, having saved their pennies, boarded the Queen Mary bound for Southampton, made their way to London, bought a motorcycle, and began touring Europe. The two brothers, who jokingly called themselves “the leech brothers,” given their willingness to accept hospitality, roamed widely, from Dublin to Vienna and from Budapest to Lisbon. At a youth hostel in Scotland, Allan met a young South African traveler, Noel Gillman, and in June 1963, the two were married in England.

A year later, now settled in the United States, the young couple welcomed a daughter, Meghan. During this period, Allan worked at Hamilton Standard during the day and attended night school in pursuit of a university degree in English. In 1970, the couple divorced. In 1975, Allan left his job as a technical writer at General Electric, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and bought 19 acres of overgrown farmland off Jones Hill Road, in Appleton, Maine. His youngest brother, Bill, purchased an adjacent plot of land, and each having built a rudimentary house, the two brothers got jobs as carpenters and lived frugally as, in their words, “gentlemen farmers.” This being the 1970’s, their farming consisted mostly of gardens and small holdings of animals – pigs, hens, geese, ponies – while the gentlemanly quality came from their being well-read and, when they spoke, well-spoken.

In 1976, Meghan came to live with her father on a property organized along 19th-century lines: heat and cooking fuel came from burning wood, light came from burning kerosene, and water had to be lugged from a spring. In time the house got a telephone, indoor running water, and a new mistress, Grace Simonson. In 1978, this young, German-speaking Wesleyan graduate had trotted through the nearby woods in search of a horse to borrow. She stopped first at Bill’s settlement, accepted an invitation to tea, and found herself nonplussed by his extreme reticence. Having extricated herself, Grace made her way to Allan’s property on Jones Hill Road, where a palomino mare was cropping grass in the pasture. Allan and Grace began chatting straight away, happily and easily, and they pursued this pastime through their wedding in June 1981, through the birth of their daughter, Elizabeth, in March 1994, through the birth of their son, Thomas, in November 1997, and all the way through what would become forty-four years of marriage.

Allan is survived by his wife Grace Simonson, of Camden; his first wife Noel Cox, of Camden; his brother Robert Cox and his wife Lynda, of Cape Cod; his daughter Meghan Cox Gurdon and her husband Hugo Gurdon; his daughter Elizabeth and her fiancé Tilden Lincoln; his son Thomas Allan Cox; his grandchildren Molly (and her husband, Nathan Pinkoski), Paris, Violet, Phoebe, and Flora; and his great-grandson, Philip. He is deeply loved and sorely missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Allan’s memory may be made, if desired, to the Camden Area District Nurses (P.O. Box 547 Camden, ME 04843) or to the hospice at Sussman House (Anchor Drive, Rockport ME 04856).