Damian J. Sokol

ARROWSIC – Damian J. Sokol, 75, died peacefully at home on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. Born on March 19, 1948, in Kansas City, Missouri, he was the second of Agatha (Hoeschele) and Vilem Sokol’s ten children. He grew up in Seattle in a family of musicians, studied piano from an early age and then added the cello, in part so that he could play with his siblings in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 1968 Damian enlisted in the Army. Upon returning from an extended tour in Vietnam, he completed an undergraduate degree in piano at Central Washington State College and an MFA at Kansas University. His graduate studies in cello led him to a position in the San Antonio Symphony, a position he left after three years to pursue religious studies at Mount Angel Seminary. By the end of his third year at the Seminary he decided to return to a career in music and moved to Vermont to study with Norman Fisher, the cellist in his brother Mark’s Concord Quartet. From there, he moved on to New Hampshire to begin his teaching and conducting career at Phillips Exeter Academy. There he met and, in 1984, married Janet Kehl. When Damian was offered a job as a teacher, chamber music coach, and orchestra conductor at the Dalton School in Manhattan, he and Janet moved to New York City where they lived for 25 years until they retired to Maine.

In Maine, Damian’s deep-seated spirituality and engagement in life flourished. In flyfishing or birding or gardening or just watching the sky above the marsh, he found beauty and joy. In his voluminous reading, he found inspiring insights and in his own writing of his memoir Rondo, self-knowledge. In treasured new and lifelong friendships, he found enriching companionship and wise counsel. At the end, in a renewed sense of faith, he found peace.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Janet Kehl, and by seven sisters and a younger brother. He was predeceased by his older brother.

Arrangements are by Daigle Funeral Home, 819 High Street, Bath, 04530. Condolences may be made online at http://www.DaigleFuneralHome.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kennebec Land Trust at 331 Main St.,

Winthrop, ME 04364 or to Chans Home Health and Hospice at 45 Baribeau Dr.,

Brunswick, ME, 04011.

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