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