Philip G. Cole

CASCO — Philip Greenleaf Cole, 93, died peacefully at the Country Village Assisted Living facility in Casco on Monday, June 13, 2011.

He was born on Dec. 6, 1917 in Raymond, a son of Gardner W. and Laura (Day) Cole. He graduated from Casco High School as valedictorian of his Class in 1935 and Hebron Academy in 1936, also as valedictorian. He completed the Commercial Course at Bryant & Stratton Business School in Boston and was attending Boston University when World War II interrupted his studies. Right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., where he met and married Bessie May Joy prior to his deployment to London, England. Assigned to Naval Communications, Philip liked to tell about the night of the Normandy Invasion (D-Day), how communication traffic fell silent and without knowing, he and his fellow servicemen surmised, “This is it!”

After returning to the United States in 1945, Philip was employed by Hancock Lumber Co. and later by L.C. Andrew as an accountant. When his father died unexpectedly in 1948, he and his wife Bessie May continued to operate Casco Inn, letting rooms and serving three meals a day. The inn business evolved to short order and soda fountain services and became a local favorite “night out” for local and summer residents and many summer camp counselors. Philip and Laura also continued to operate the Casco Laundry, which provided service to many summer camps in the area until 1984.

Philip was serious about fulfilling his civic duties. He was a long-time member of the planning board, school board member and was town meeting moderator for many years. He was active in the Casco Village Church, Casco Grange, Fire Department, Civil Defense and the Raymond/Casco Historical Society.

His passion was music. He was a classically trained tenor and was the lead tenor at King’s Chapel in Boston as well as High Street Congregational Church in Auburn. He was called upon and willingly sang for weddings, dedications and for church and Grange pageants and functions. He was an accomplished pianist and violinist and was known to strum the guitar and banjo on occasion.

Philip is survived by his three children, Nelson of Casco, Charles of Texas, and Joy of Greene; eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; a niece and nephew.
Philip was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Bessie May Cole; his parents; and sister, Katherine Duntley Redmun.

A funeral service will be held at the Casco Village Church on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his memory may be made to the Raymond/Casco Historical Society, P.O. Box 1055, Raymond, ME 04071.
Arrangement are by Hall Funeral Home, Casco.

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