[In Memoriam]
[FNCA History]

In Memoriam:
Rev. Dr. George F. Dole
(July 8, 1931 - June 29, 2021)

© Jon Cousins 2014


George Frederick Dole first attended the Assembly when he was 1 month old and continued to attend yearly until he was in his mid-80s when major loss of hearing made lecturing and even casual conversation too difficult for him. He was a core lecturer for most of 50 years. He served as Assembly President from 1965-1973. He also served many years as Vice President, as camp parliamentarian from the 1960s through the 1990s, many years on the Executive Committee and on the Buildings & Grounds Committee, helped open up and close down camp for at least two decades, wrote two songs about the FNCA, and oh so much more.

George was a minister, lecturer, professor, translator, writer, linguist, composer, lyricist, runner, sage, wit, punster, and all around logophile. He was also a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to all who knew him.

He was a brilliant, kind, gentle, thoughtful, perceptive man who genuinely loved people, and delighted in helping everyone move towards Heaven.

Our Facebook page honored him this way on July 2, 2021:

Rev. Dr. George Frederick Dole
(July 8, 1931 - June 29, 2021)

Heaven has gained a wonderful soul. Our beloved George F. Dole passed on to the spiritual world on Tuesday in Bath ME surrounded by his family. One of the last things he said was, "I cannot wait to run again."

Here are just a few of GFD's life moments:

1931  born to Rev. Louis & Anita Dole in Fryeburg ME
1937  moved to Bath for the rest of his childhood
1952  graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale
1954  runs in the first 4-minute mile race
1957  marries Lois Seekamp
1958  M.A. from Oxford (Hebrew)
1960  ordained
1960-73   served the Cambridge Church
1960-2010s   FNCA core lecturer
1965  PhD from Harvard (Assyriology)
1965-73   FNCA President
1968  sang "Tink'ring w/the Toilets" at Stunt Night
1969-2021   faculty at the theological school
1976  Dole translation of Heaven & Hell published
1982  wrote film script for Images of Knowing
2014  Dole 3 Miler road race created in his honor
2021  died, age 89, ten days before his 90th birthday

A memorial service followed by a dinner reception with George's favorite camp meal — franks and beans! — was held on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at the Assembly after the 8th annual Dole 3 Miler road race that morning.


Jesse White wrote:

"I'm... praying you are 
comforted by thoughts 
of young Uncle George 
bursting with energy 
and continuing to 
engage in learning and 
teaching. I feel so 
blessed to have known 
him and will hold tight 
to those memories.
Take care.

In 1985, his late sister Louise wrote in her FNCA "Reflections" column:

[We remember] "George Dole's witticisms livening of the conversation. One of our favorites came at the end of the session. George sustained a slight wound while helping take down the tents. When asked how he got hurt, he replied, 'We struck the tents and one of them struck me.'"

Martha Richardson wrote:

"He was one of the best. Hard to believe. His care for all and wisdom will be missed. Our condolences to Lois and his family. Love and blessings, Martha"


Nancy Little wrote:

"I always enjoyed talent night when George and Gard would do their Yankee Humor skits. So funny!"


Trevor wrote:

"In a lecture one year, Uncle George said something that has stuck with me every since: 'Heaven is not a reward for being good. Heaven is what it feels like to be good.'"

Dawn Crowe relates a favorite GFD story:

"Going for a run with George and Bob Perry at FNCA. An incredible honor and a challenge to keep up. Thank you, George! You are missed already."

Lee Dyer wrote:

"I like to think of Uncle George returning to his youthful vigor in the spiritual world. In addition to his continued writing and teaching, I just bet ya he's going to train up to make a stab at that 4-minute mile for himself! :-D "

Rev. Julie Conaron wrote:

"I don't remember exactly what he said, but I do remember how humble he was and how he refused to take credit for all the amazing work he did with translations of the writings."

Dan Wood wrote:

"Rev. Dole was one of my heroes, being both a great spiritual presence and a humble servant of God. A true role model if there ever was one."

Diana Kirven Stickney wrote:

One day as a child when I was walking along Divinity Avenue to Agassiz School, I encountered George walking towards me. When he saw me, he leapt up into the air, clicked his heels together and landed again on both feet with a big grin on his face. I still remember how happy he made me feel.

His older daughter, Alicia, wrote:

I will never forget the kindness and caring of the welcome the camp gave us in response to holding Dad’s memorial service there. Everything that needed to be done was done generously, thoughtfully, and with love. The location, looking across the river at the mountains, was perfect. Up till then, I had known intellectually that Dad was in heaven, but when Rev. Dr. Reuben Bell told us to look at the mountains as he read Psalm 121, "I lift up my eyes to the hills,” I felt it in my heart, being surrounded by a loving community in a beautiful, peaceful setting, just like he is now.

In 2014, the FNCA created the Dole 3 Miler road race in recognition of George still running at age 83 and celebrating his participation in the famous 1954 race in which Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile. George led off the inaugural Dole 3 Miler wearing his© 2014 original running shorts from the historic race six decades earlier. He finished 37th with a time of 30:06, first in his age group. "Better than I expected," he commented afterwards. His cheerful presence was cherished by many at the race for the next seven years. 

© Jesse White 2017In 2015, Tina Wood wrote:

"...the race was a big hit again, of course. They all love running and are in awe of George Dole."


Rev. Dr. Dole's book A Book About Us was chosen as the 1st Week lecture theme in 2008.

Another of his books, The Universe and I: Where Science & Spirituality Meet, was chosen as the FNCA Afternoon Book Club selection in 2018.

And his book A Thoughtful Soul: Reflections from Swedenborg, was the 2021 Afternoon Book Club book in honor of his passing.

At the FNCA Flames 75th Anniversary celebration in 2003, he reprised his 1968 Tiny Tim parody "Tink'ring with the Toilets" while wearing a yellow mop head wig and accompanying his tenor falsetto on the ukulele.

© Nancy F. Little 2003

We love you, George!

[In Memoriam]
[FNCA History]

84 Main St, Fryeburg, ME 04037 (map)