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Albert Soderland

Albert Soderland, age 87, of Brooksby Village, Peabody, and former long-time resident of Falmouth, died on Tuesday, September 7, 2010, at Lahey Clinic, Northshore with his family at his side.

He was born on October 18, 1922 to Carl Albert and Ida Sophia (Sjostrom) Soderland and was raised in Woods Hole.  His love for the sea was quickly evident.  He was an avid Sea Scout and crewman aboard the Mayflower, a 30-foot keel cat built in 1909 with his Dad as skipper. He then salvaged a 34-foot sloop from the rocks of Woods Hole after the Hurricane of ’39, the first of several boats pulled from the rocks of several later hurricanes and repaired and refloated.

He graduated from Lawrence High School, Falmouth, class of 1940, and attended Admiral Farragut Academy. He then enlisted in the United States Navy and was selected for the V12 program, a Navy College Training Program designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the USN during WWII. He enrolled in Emory University, then attended midshipman’s school, received his commission, and served aboard the USS Baretta, an Ailanthus-class net laying ship which served in the western Pacific theatre of operation during WWII. He became her Commanding Officer guiding her through several typhoons. USS Baretta helped clear paths through the mine strewn approaches to the Japanese ports of debarkation.  He remained active in the US Navy Reserve until October 18.1982, retiring as a lieutenant.

After the WWII and his release from active duty, he returned to Emory University receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948.  He met his love, Eloise McDowell, in Atlanta before the war. They married and returned to Woods Hole in 1948.  They have been at each others side, holding hands, and smiling ever since.

 He worked as an electrical contractor until his retirement specializing in marine electrical systems aboard the Albatross, the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries research ship docked in Woods Hole and old home electrical restoration.  He was a long-time communicant of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and sang in the choir for more than 30 years.  He was active in town government serving on the Finance Committee and School Building Needs Committee for many years.

He loved cribbage, feeding the birds, tending to their backyard rose garden, and fixing anything.  From his son’s Model A Ford, to storm damaged boats, to a granddaughter’s dollhouse, he could always build it or fix it.  Their backyard was a sea of beauty and wildlife and many hours were spent with a cup of coffee, talking, laughing, and enjoying nature and family.

In addition to his wife Eloise, Al is survived by his son, Dr. Carl A. Soderland and his wife Diane of Ipswich, and his son-in-law CAPT David Bolka USN (RET) of Mobile, Alabama. He was predeceased earlier this summer by his daughter, Carol Ann Bolka  also of Mobile, Alabama. He was a beloved “Papa” to Christopher Bolka of Atlanta, Georgia, Stefan Bolka and his wife Susan of San Jose, California, Dr. Peter A. Soderland and his wife Sukanya of Newton, and Callie O’Connor and her husband John of Somerville. In addition to his four grandchildren he had five great-grandchildren.

A graveside service for family and friends will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, on Friday, September 24, 2010, at 11:30 AM.  The Reverend Patricia Barrett, Rector, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Lahey Clinic, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, Massachusetts  01805 or St. Barnabas Memorial Church, 91 Main Street, Falmouth, Massachusetts  02540.

Arangements are under the direction of the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.

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