Douglas's Story

VINALHAVEN - Douglas Arey Hall, 86, passed away in the company of his children, Thursday, July 23, 2015, at the Ivan Calderwood Homestead on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine.

Doug Hall was born July 13, 1929, in Summit, New Jersey, to Elliott Edgar and Evelyn Arey Hall, both of old Vinalhaven families. In 1932, with the onset of the Great Depression, Doug and older brother David Sylvester returned with their mother to Vinalhaven while Elliott joined the Civilian Conservation Corps near Augusta. Doug's happy childhood years included time spent with his beloved paternal grandparents, Clarence and Addie Emma, at the Town Poor Farm they managed together.

1937 found the family in Springfield, New Jersey, where Elliott worked as an engineer for Western Electric. Doug graduated from Springfield High, returning to Vinalhaven in 1947 to work as a small boat fisherman.

October of 1950, Doug joined the Army with childhood friend Jack Wentworth. Together they shipped out to Korea in March of 1951. Private Hall was assigned to 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, 2d Infantry Division. Doug was in the combat zone in Korea until February 1952, during that time rising to rank of Sergeant First Class, and awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Declining a Lieutenant's commission, Hall was reassigned to the occupation forces in Germany, where he was discharged in October of 1953.

In Germany, Doug discovered his facility with language, quickly becoming fluent in German. He remained in Germany until 1955, developing an enduring friendship with the Brockmann family of Beverungen. A chance meeting with Tomas Weisner resulted in a brief career in fine art restoration. Doug also lived in Munich.

Fall of 1956 Doug became a student at the University Of Maine At Orono. He graduated in 1959 with highest honors, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies.

In 1959, Doug married Charlene Griffin Manchester of Falmouth. They spent the next year in Vienna on a Fulbright scholarship. Back in Maine, Doug taught English and German at York High School from 1961 to 1964.

Beginning in 1965, as a Professor of German at the University of Maine at Orono, Doug developed theatre as a tool for learning language. A prize-winning author and director of German plays, often sponsored by the Goethe Institute, Doug worked with lifelong friends Josef Roggenbauer, of UMO's language department, and Al Cyrus of UMO's theatre department. A natural actor and singer, Doug would often perform in his own, as well as others, productions.

Charlene and Doug divorced 1969. In 1975 Doug married Jean McCarthy of Northampton, Massachusetts at Poole's Hill, Vinalhaven.

Doug retired from UMO in 1995, and with Jean purchased their home on Mountain Street in 1997. Following Jean's death in 2007, Doug sold the family home on Crosby Street in Orono, returning to Vinalhaven to live full time.

Doug's quick wit and keen sense of humor were complemented by deep intellectual ability, fostered by his mother's love of great literature. Throughout his life, Doug returned to the island he loved every summer. Rejecting a life of pure academia, Doug worked trawling, and opened a fish and vegetable stand with Jean; a practical and intuitive carpenter, Doug did extensive and tasteful renovations to his homes.

Doug's contributions to the community he cherished included work with the Historical Society and the Eldercare facility at the Calderwood Homestead. Doug was also a member of Vinalhaven American Legion Post 18. In 2008, Doug was a delegate to the Democratic primary at the state capital. Doug's knowledge and appreciation of the past informed his hopes for the future.

In recent years, Doug was a familiar sight around Carver's Harbor, rowing his vintage Hoakie Gustavson peapod standing up, and hauling lobster traps by hand. Bean suppers at the Union Church, where his mother had played the organ for many decades, were a favorite social event, as were screenings at the library of the Movie Buffs Matinee, a weekly event he founded with close island friends. Brother David passed away in 1997. Doug is survived by his children: Charles Elliott and wife Kasia of New York City, Jennifer Doane of Portland, Jessica Arey and fiancé Kevin Cloutier of New York City, from his first marriage; Ethan Arnold and wife Melissa, of Vinalhaven, and Lydia Arey of Freeport, from his second marriage, as well as grandchildren: Ariel and Aidan Flores of New York City, Naomi Hall and Lucien Cheney of Portland, and Eliza Jean Hall, of Vinalhaven.

Services to be held at the Union Church, Vinalhaven, Maine, Saturday, August 8, at 12:00 noon. All those that knew and loved Doug are welcomed to attend, and to share their memories. A reception and potluck dinner are to follow. Contributions in Doug's name can be made to the Eldercare facility at the Ivan Calderwood Homestead, Vinalhaven.

Doug will be interred with Jean next to his parents at Brown's Head Cemetery, Vinalhaven.

"To get love, one must give love."

"Every day is a gift."

Douglas Arey Hall
Published in Bangor Daily News
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