DAMARISCOTTA — Edward Donohoe loved to share stories of his travels and his work.

To educate youths about the seas and life as a sailor, especially in the shipping and fishing industries, he wrote down the stories, said his daughter Elena Shaw. He dressed up as the character of Jediah Peabody, taking his listeners right into the story with him.

“He would dress up the part, the whole part. He’d have his whaling harpoon and toolboxes,” she said.

“If you would have put a yellow slicker and a captain’s hat on him, he would have looked like a statue,” said his friend Dan Snow. “He would have looked like an icon for the state of Maine.”

Mr. Donohoe died Thursday. He was 87.

He spent his entire career sailing the seas and traveling the world. Before World War II, he served on the USS Nantucket. During the war, he sailed the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean as a marine engineer and a warrant officer.

After the war, he resumed sailing, as a first assistant engineer in the Merchant Marine. He was well-schooled, with a degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a degree in marine and electrical engineering from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

“He was well-educated and worldly,” said his daughter, who remembers him as a “bigger-than-life guy.”

Showing the skills he learned as a sailmaker on the Sherman Zwicker, Mr. Donohoe would sit at the Maine Maritime Musuem in Bath, sewing. His daughter said he would repair sails or rope, and when people approached he would teach them what he was doing.

“He was a very interesting person to have known,” Snow said.

As an active member of his church and with his strong Catholic faith, Mr. Donohoe became a mentor of sorts to Snow.

“He was somebody who tried to live, take his faith seriously, and live it seriously,” Snow said, which made him a role model.

“He tried to do everything as well as he could. He was cheerful. He was optimistic,” he said.

His daughter described Mr. Donohoe as well-read, and Snow echoed that thought. He said that last winter, Mr. Donohoe was still trying to learn new things and reading a book about the development of Japanese linguistics.

“He was interested in just everything,” Snow said. “People described him as a living museum.”

“He really loved life and lived it to the absolute fullest. He lived it to the last drop,” he said.


Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

[email protected]


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