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I just read an Obit. about one of our brother fishermen. I thought maybe it would interest others-

John Cole, Fisherman, Journalist

By Theresa Vargas

January 11, 2003

It was at age 14, John Cole once wrote, on a cloudless East End summer day amid a driftwood fire and blowfish lunch that he decided he'd rather fish than do anything else.

"I tried to make fishing my career, not because I thought I'd get rich, but because I thought there could be no better way to spend my life," he reminisced in a Newsday article in 1985. "Fishing is an admittance to the elemental tapestry woven anew each day; everyone who fishes becomes a part of the warp and woof of the natural world."

With fishing remaining a constant in his life - a metaphor for man's relationship with the natural world - the New York native went on to become one of Maine's most distinguished journalists and the author of 13 books. After a year-long fight with cancer, he died in his Brunswick home on Wednesday. He was 79.

Cole asked that his ashes be dispersed at Montauk Point - where he spent his childhood summers, fishing pole in hand.

"That's where he learned to love the sea," said friend Richard Barringer of Portland, Maine. "I kind of like the idea that the current's going to carry his ashes across Long Island, through Massachusetts Bay and into the gulf of Maine, our rivers."

It's the route that Cole's life took. A graduate of Yale University and decorated World War II veteran, Cole spent five years as a commercial fisherman on the East End before starting his journalism career in Maine.

"I thought some of those September and October days scalloping on the bay were some of his best," said author and Long Island native Peter Matthiessen, who fished commercially with Cole.

After leaving Long Island's coast for Maine in 1956, Cole served as editor of several newspapers and founded the Maine Times and the World Paper. Still, one of his daughter's Darrah's earliest memories is not of the writer, but of her father scraping old paint off a wooden boat he had just purchased.

"He was always sharing things about the natural world. ... We could see through his eyes," she said.

"He just had an intense love for the world around him and so he wanted to find ways to share it and protect it and allow it to continue," Darrah, who lives in Seattle, added.

In his articles and books, Cole took up causes such as cleaning New England's rivers, saving the striped bass population and banning moose hunting even before environmental journalism existed. On Friday, Barringer remembered a Christmas Eve conversation with Cole.

"He said he had one more fight - this coyote-snaring business," Barringer said. "That was going to be his last crusade."

In addition to Darrah, Cole is survived by his wife, Jean, a son, Marshall, and his four stepchildren, Chris, Bob, Tracy and Sam Patton.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at Bowdoin Chapel in Brunswick
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