A former captain of "America's Environmental Flagship," Clearwater, and a friend of atheists and others passed away this week
His name was Donald Taube and he will always be regarded as my surrogate father. A graduate of St. John's College, he went to work for IBM and left the corporate world when he fell in love with boating, joined the Clearwater (http://www.clearwater.org/) crew and eventually became its captain and was befriended by Pete Seeger, whose kind words written and read at the service Thursday night were deeply comforting.
At the time of his death Don Taube was employed as captain of The Pioneer by the South Street Sea Port Museum of New York http://www.southstseaport.org/street/pioneer.shtm
He was a kind, loving and brilliant person who deeply cared about the environment and the creatures with whom he shared it. He was one of the most respectable and decent human beings I have ever known, and at the time of his death, was a devout atheist. His obit: Mr. Donald Taube, age 64, of Wilmington, died July 9, 2007, at his residence. Born in Durham, NC, and raised in Chevy Chase, MD. He graduated from St. John's college in Annapolis where he studied philosophy, attended Columbia Library School, then worked for IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he signed on as a one week volunteer for the Sloop Clearwater owned by folksinger Pete Seeger, to crusade for a non polluted Hudson River. Soon after, at age 28 he left his position at IBM and signed on as a full time Clearwater crew member serving as cook and eventually captain. He married Ola June Clifton (deceased) in 1976. His long career as a sailor, shipwright, carpenter and master blacksmith saw him working with boats up and down the east coast. He was a captain on the Rachel & Ebenezer, sailing between Orient Point, Long Island and Connecticut and at the time of his death , working at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City, where he was a captain of the Pioneer. While living in Wilmington, he supervised the restoration of the teak deck on the Battleship North Carolina. He leaves a daughter, Jessica Taube; sisters, Susan Schwelling (George) and Deborah Hutton (Bruce); and many nieces and nephews; and a large cache of friends and associates from all over the world. A memorial service will be held tonight, Thursday, July 12, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. at the B'Nai Israel Synagogue at 25th and Chestnut Streets by Rabbi Robert Waxman. Friends may call at the family home Wilmington through Saturday evening.
A service of Coble Ward-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service, Oleander Chapel. 910-791-4444.
Published in the Star-News on 7/12/2007.
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