BELFAST — A passionate sailor, boatbuilder, inventor, and former two-term Belfast mayor, Monroe Bostwick “Mke” Hall, age 91, died peacefully at his home Sept. 7, 2021, surrounded by loved ones. Born Aug. 22, 1930, in Karuizawa, Japan, to parents Monroe B. Hall Sr. and Mary Smedburg, Mike, along with his younger sister, Mary Joan Hall, spent his early childhood in China, where his father worked in the U.S. diplomatic service.

The family settled in Millerton, N.Y., where Mike attended The Darrow School in nearby Lebanon, graduating in 1950. He went on to study geology at Middlebury College (class of 1954), where he met, fell madly in love with, and married Kathleen (“Kathy”) Donahue (1932-1996), daughter of Leone Smith and Mark Francis Donahue. Mike served in the Army from 1954 to 1956, followed by a brief stint at the Lakeville Journal in Connecticut, before moving to Annapolis, Md., where his lifelong love of boats and the sea was launched in earnest.

In Annapolis, he worked for The Skipper magazine and started Yachts with Character as a yacht broker. In 1973, Mike and Kathy, with the younger three of their four children, moved to Belfast. Mike was a founding partner of Energy Unlimited, an early Belfast solar/alternative energy company. He worked for Lincoln Canoe and then in Camden, where he opened and headed Drascombe Boats Inc. From 1982 to ’85, Mike served as mayor of Belfast, during an important period of transition for the town. In 1983, Mike was proud to be received by the mayor of Belfast, Northern Ireland — Maine’s sister city. Mike loved the people, music making and pubs of Ireland, and took annual trips with his Kathy to their cozy cottage in the town of Dingle.

He was an avid supporter of the arts, chair of the board of the Belfast Free Library and president of the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, Mike built many small boats in his Belfast workshop beneath a sign that read “Geniuses are not often Tidy.” He will be remembered for his charming curiosity and his quest to modify and improve whatever he laid hands on. He always had a new gadget or home invention in the works, including one featured in Farm Show Magazine (2006). All four of his children enjoyed his innovative spirit and have all carried it on in their respective professional lives.

Mike was an enthusiastic music-lover who thoroughly enjoyed group singing, steel band music and playing his ukulele. Mike’s extensive knowledge of the Belfast region made him a natural real estate agent for Rollerson Realty. Mike was also an inaugural presence and boatbuilder with Belfast’s Come Boating! community organization. He headed the crew that built the Cornish pilot gig the Belle Fast. First as mayor and continuing throughout the rest of his years, Mike especially loved officiating at weddings. He required little coaxing to participate in or host a celebration.

Later in his life, Mike was delighted to find new love and companionship with Belfast native Marie Keene. For more than two decades, Mike and Marie shared countless adventures exploring around Maine, on and off the water, and traveling internationally. As his life wound down, he was blessed to have the help and companionship of Katie Buckley and beloved upstairs neighbors Jon and Kristyne Sanderson, along with the help of Private Homecare Inc. and Beacon Hospice.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Kathleen Hall, and sister Mary Joan Hall. Mike is survived by his companion Marie Keene; children Monroe B. Hall III and partner Susan Smith-Riedel, Mark D. Hall and wife Wendy, Melissa W. Hall and husband Chris Moore, and Matthew R. Hall and wife Edi Hall; grandchildren Monroe B. Hall IV, Chanda Thompson, Amber Hall, Teal Hall, Scarlet Hall, James R. H. Moore, Lorna K. Moore and Lillian Hall; and several great-grandchildren.

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