CAMDEN — Paul Anthony Cole was born on November 28, 1954 in Camden, Maine to Diana and Carroll Cole. As the oldest of eight children, Paul often inherited the role of a father figure, or "the calm center of a hurricane," as he once put it. With an incredibly inquisitive mind and a storehouse of knowledge, Paul became the family's de facto educator -- our Wikipedia before there was the Internet. He was widely read in science fiction, loved all things related to science, Star Trek, and started his own radio show on Rockland's WRFR called "Beam Me Up." He was on the air every Saturday at 4pm and for years never missed a broadcast. Due to his illnesses, he reluctantly had to suspend his show. The podcast version of the show's nearly 500 episodes is part of his legacy.
At an early age, Paul contracted polio which affected his ability to walk. Never one to complain, he adapted to walking with crutches, and then to full time in a motorized wheelchair. He could be seen motoring all around Rockland. He was a fixture at the St. Bernard's and the Episcopal soup kitchen and was always so very thankful for the food he received. He enjoyed sharing meals and this was an integral part of his social life.
Paul had enormous strength and reveled in shaking hands with anyone who wanted to try and overpower him. He was an early participant in wheelchair racing and traveled as far as Washington, D.C. to race.
Paul loved electronics and was able to run a successful repair business for years at 18 Leland street in Rockland. He also taught computer file manipulation, Adobe Photoshop and photography for many years with his "oldest" brother Herb at Camden Hills High School adult education program. He also helped create one of the area's first computer bulletin boards in the late 1980s.
Paul married Cathy (Miller) Cole and had his only child Courtney in August of 1990. He adored and his daughter and they shared a truly special bond with one another. He was always speaking of how proud he was of her, most recently he spoke about her earning her degree and buying her first house. He was also a proud grandfather. He doted on his four grandchildren and often had them stay over with him. He recently bought a wheeled carriage attachment for the sole purpose of pulling his grandchildren behind his wheelchair.
Paul was an early "McGiver" and had an innate ability to create something workable out of cast-off junk. He shared his love of electronics, wiring, and was often called by family members to troubleshoot electrical issues. He ability to solve complex problems is legendary.
Paul loved all animals and loved to photograph them about Rockland. He had many pet mice growing up and in later years pet birds. He was often seen at Stella Maris house with his beloved bird Domino on his shoulder. He lovingly called him turkey bird.
Paul truly loved his family. He adored his sisters dotting on him and enjoyed many spirited conversations. He loved his twin nephews Jeremy and Justin and enjoyed watching Anime with them. His youngest brother Nelson treasures the memories of their many trips all over the state to see movies. His sister Judy never forgot to thank Paul for his early encouragement when she also contracted Polio at four years old. She felt that his support enabled her to beat the disease and lead a life that is fully ambulatory. Brother Hollis often visited with pizza and they shared so many laughs that his side ached for days afterwards. Paul loved talking about everything art with brother Don and especially Don's sense of humor.
Paul had many significant people in his life that he truly loved. First and foremost was the love of his life Carole Morris Cole. Carole religiously called Paul every night from her home in California and continued when moving to Texas. Carole and Paul went on cruises together to Alaska and Hawaii. They spent time wine tasting in Napa Valley and Carole was able to visit Paul in Maine.
Paul is survived by his daughter Courtney and significant partner (Tom), sons Onyx, Lyric, Bae, and granddaughter Eden. Paul is survived by his brother Herb and wife Elizabeth; brother Don and his wife Laurie; brother Hollis, and brother Nelson and his significant other Kjerstin Winn, his sisters Judith Sawyer and husband Stephen; sister Madelene Cole and significant other Tom Utley. Paul recently mourned the loss of his brother Michael to liver cancer.
Paul is survived by many nieces, nephews, as well a grand niece and grandnephews and his former wife Cathy Cole. A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.
"In my life I have found two things of priceless worth - learning and loving... For when your life is over, if you can say 'I have learned' and 'I have loved,' you will also be able to say 'I have been happy." ― Arthur C. Clarke
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.directcremationofmaine.com