Charles Edwin Cole, born in Gardiner on September 28th, 1923, passed away peacefully in his sleep with his wife and grandson Luke at his side on November 25th, 2012. He was one of four children of John and Rita Cole. Charlie graduated from Gardiner High School in 1943, where he excelled in basketball and hockey. He served aboard U.S.S. Hornet during WWII, participating in numerous major battles in the Western Pacific. Charlie was employed by New England Telephone Company as a central office switch-man and retired in 1983 after 37 years. Charlie met his future wife, Barbara Purdy, a telephone operator, while she was having lunch with his mother. He frequently paid visits to Barb's home on Northern Avenue, where his very special smile stole her heart (and provided the family wonderful private stories told to this day). They were married on June 29th, 1947 and spent their honeymoon at Square Lake (with empty suitcases, thanks to friends). They lived on Heselton Street for over 54 years and had two sons, Fred and John. Charlie had many interests; he golfed most courses in Maine, was an amateur woodworker, an avid duck hunter and fisherman and an amateur radio operator, call sign N1ESW. He loved to take the family to a log cabin on Seboomook Lake, where Barb enjoyed the amenities. Charlie was a member of the Gardiner American Legion, 50+ year member of Herman Lodge #32 A.F. and A.M. in Gardiner, was Past Master, Mid-Coast Maine Grand Council #205, Knights Templar, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest, Grand Imperial Council Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine, Knights of York Cross of Honor, Royal Arch Mason, Vermont Association Knights Templar Commanders, Maine Council Order of High Priesthood, Grand Steward of Grand Lodge of Maine, and Thrice Illustrious Master in the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, and recipient of DeMolay Cross of Honor and DeMolay Honorary Legion of Honor. For over 20 years he was the Gardiner DeMolay Chapter Dad and DeMolay basketball coach. With a reputation as being conservative, tough minded and extremely practical, Charlie was a righteous man who quietly and unknown to most, helped many people in need. Charlie is pre-deceased by his parents and siblings. He leaves behind his wife Barbara of Scarborough, son Fred and wife Nora, son John and wife Beryl, and several grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces and nephews. Charlie resided in the Scarborough Maine Veteran's Home for the last two years. He and his family are deeply appreciative of the respectful, personal and professional daily care and love he received as a US Navy veteran and resident. There will be a Masonic service at Staples Funeral at 10 A.M. on Saturday, December 8th, 2012, followed by a full military graveside service at Oak Grove Cemetery. After the burial, friends and family are gathering at Highland Avenue Methodist Church in Gardiner for light snacks and reminiscing. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in blessed memory of Charles Cole, Scarborough Maine Veterans Home, 290 US RT-1, Scarborough ME 04074.