John N. Dole

Nov 24, 2014
John Dole

St. George — John Nicholas Dole, 84, passed away peacefully at Pen Bay Medical Center Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, surrounded by his family, following a period of declining health.

Born in Nottingham, England, Dec. 6, 1929, he was the adopted son of John Soper and Margaret Fernald Dole.

John grew up in Spuyten Duyvil, N.Y., a suburb of the Bronx, and as a teenager moved with his family to Greenwich, Conn. He studied classical piano from an early age, and had his first New York debut at Town Hall in May of 1952.

Following high school, John studied at New York University, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1958. He later met Alice Taber at a church young adult meeting in New York. Following a yearlong courtship, the pair were married June 28, 1958. The couple first made their home in New York, where John was employed as an acoustical engineer for the Angell Pipe Organ Company in Port Chester.

In 1964 the couple relocated to Connecticut, where he worked for Cove Marina installing marine systems. Living in the Marvin Beach section of East Norwalk, John was an avid sailor, always keeping a boat in the harbor. At one point he built a 19-foot sailboat, the Alice M, aboard which the family enjoyed many years of day trips and overnight vacations.

Pulling up their roots and moving to Maine in 1980, John and Alice purchased the Glen Cove Motel in Rockport. Together they operated the motel until 1985; at which point they settled in St. George.

John continued his love of sailing and boat building, working for a time at Rockport Marine and building boats with Dennis Leight. He also shared his expertise and craftsmanship with others, completing light carpentry jobs.

In his retirement John became interested in steam engines, building many model steamships, but by far the most unique and ambitious vessel that he built was the 17-foot steam launch Rocky, named after his favorite cat. The family enjoyed many fun outings on area lakes and always attracted curious onlookers.

John was an active member of Rockland Congregational Church. Singing in the choir, playing handbells and occasionally piano, John shared his love of music with his fellow parishioners. He was also involved in a local prison ministry program counseling inmates. His wife, Alice, ran Area Interfaith Outreach (AIO) for many years, and John made many trips with her delivering food to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Even after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, John continued to be active and was always up for an adventure. He never lost his keen, yet subtle sense of humor and continued to share jokes with the nurses and caregivers who assisted him.

John’s family was extremely grateful for the kindness and wonderful care he received during his stay at both the Owls Head Homestead and the Pen Bay Medical Center.

John was predeceased by a sister, Grace Dole.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Alice Marie Taber Dole, of St. George; his son, John Morris Dole, of Oakland, Calif.; his daughter, Eleanor Ruth Tamsky, and her husband, Benjamin, of Mystic, Conn.; his brother, Benjamin Prescott Dole, and his wife, Lucy, of Richland, Wash.; one granddaughter, Lorraine Ann Tamsky, of Stonington, Conn.; a niece, Margaret Nicholson, who was like a sister, and several other nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.

A celebration of John’s life will be held at 2 p.m.., Saturday, Dec. 6, at Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St., Rockland. The Rev. Seth Jones will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777; or the Rockland Congregational Church General Fund or Hand-Bell Choir, P.O. Box 554, Rockland, ME 04841.

Arrangements are with Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland.

To share a memory or condolence with the Dole family, visit their Book of Memories at

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