Captain Gilbert's Story
CAMDEN - Captain Gilbert E. Hall, 85, passed away Tuesday May 5, 2014 at Anderson Inn surrounded by his family. Born in East Searsmont, Gil was the son of Fredrick and Christina (Marriner) Hall.
At a young age, his mother married Captain Phil Raynes. Growing up on the Bay Road with Captain Phil was the beginning of Gil's love of the sea. He was a graduate of Camden High School Class of 1947 and Maine Maritime Class of 1950. On September 10, 1950 he married the love of his life, Shirley Mae Cookson. After a short honeymoon, Gil went to sea as a deck officer for months at a time. He shipped out for several years until Shirley and he decided it was time to come to home to Camden. Upon their return they started Hall's Taxi and Bus Services. This was short lived as Naval Reserve Officer Hall got a call from Uncle Sam. In 1955, Lt. Hall and Shirley headed to Italy where he served for three years.
After leaving the Navy, Gil went to work for American Export Line in Philadelphia. In 1966, Captain Gil had had enough of working in the city so he and Shirley loaded up the kids in the station wagon and come home to Camden. He went to work for Aqua-Terra Enterprises as Manager of Marine Brokerage Sales and Charters. During this time he became an apprentice Penobscot Bay and River Pilot. After receiving his Pilots and Docking Master License, he ended his brokerage career and purchased a 38' sightseeing boat the Cynthia J. With the help of Captain Rusty Robinson, he ran the business for several years until becoming a partner in Penobscot Bay Pilot with Captain Bill Abbot providing pilotage service in Penobscot Bay 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Captain Hall boarded the vessels at offshore pilot stations guiding them safely to their destination then reversing the process navigating the vessels until they were clear of Penobscot Bay. Upon Captain Abbot's retirement, Gil become sole owner until his retirement in 1994. In 1970, Captain Gil, Captain Abbot and Captain Richard Moody started Camden Marine Operator which connected marine radios to the mainland telephone system for the first time.
Upon Gil's retirement, he and Shirley traveled all over the world. They took many family trips to Florida with the family and cherished the time they got to spend with their grandchild. He and Shirley loved to travel all over New England to watch grandson Kyle wrestle and spent many happy days at the cottage on Norton's Pond with family and friends. Some of his happiest times were going with his son, Douglas on the Yacht Deliverance doing passages north and south to Florida and was proud when his grandson, David become a third generation captain.
Gil was the salt of the earth, always seeing the good in people and never the bad. He would do anything for anyone if he could. Gilbert was a member of the First Congregational Church of Camden where he had served as a Deacon. He was a member of the Amity #6 Masonic lodge and was a member of the Propeller Club in Belfast and the Maine Maritime Alumni Association. Gil was a long-time and faithful member of the Camden Lion's club and was the recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.
The Hall family would like to express their gratitude to the many devoted caregivers at Anderson Inn and the Schooner Bay Taxi for providing transportation for Gil for several years.
He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley Hall who died in 2007. Surviving are his three children, Michael Hall and his wife, Dot of Camden; Captain Douglas Hall and his wife, Janet of Rockport; Cynthia Sylvester and her husband, John of Rockport, six grandchildren, Kyle Sylvester and his wife, Courtney; Heather Sylvester, Stephanie Raddish, Captain David Hall, Jessica Payson and Jeremy Payson; two great-grandchildren, Aubrey Sylvester and Ava Schaller; and Jaxson Payson: three sisters, Ruth Barter and her husband, Donald of Jefferson; Faye Leland of West Rockport; Mary Freeman of China and one brother, Jerry Hall of Bath and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Gil also leaves three life-long devoted friends, Johnson Talbot; Jack Williams; and Arden Young and special friend, Estelle Megquier.
A Memorial Service will be held 1 p.m. June 6th followed by a reception at the First Congregational Church UCC, 55 Elm Street, Camden, with the Rev. Kevin Pleas officiating. Private interment will be in the East Searsmont Cemetery. If desired, memorial gifts may be made to the Camden Lion's Club, P.O. Box 235, Rockport, ME 04856 or to Maine Maritime Academy, Development Office, Pleasant Street, Castine, ME 04420. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain Street, Camden. Condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Hall family by visiting their book of memories at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.
Published on  May 28, 2014