David Jonathan Soule, 62: Passionate special education teacher

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SOUTH PORTLAND — David Jonathan Soule, 62, died Monday, surrounded by his family and a legion of friends.

Born Aug. 13, 1950, Soule was a lifelong resident of South Portland. At the age of 3, he was injured in an accident that left him with a spinal cord injury that challenged him for the remainder of his life. However this never discouraged, distracted or slowed him down.

His early education at Holy Cross Grammar School in South Portland created a lifelong love and devotion to his Catholic faith. He was a member of the Holy Cross Parish his entire life and remained involved in its choir, prayer groups and Christmas fair until his recent illness.

Soule was a 1968 graduate of South Portland High School and after graduating from the University of Southern Maine, he began teaching at Holy Cross Grammar School. He was the school’s first male teacher and taught the 4th grade. He later taught at Small School in South Portland. His passion for teaching began to flourish after taking a position at Mahoney Junior High School and later South Portland High School as a special education teacher.

Years after Soule retired, some students who Soule fondly called “scallywags,” would stop by his home for a visit. Whether just checking in or offering him help around his home and yard, these students never forgot him. During his illness, it was a great comfort to him that these students, now adults and years past graduation, still remembered and cared for him. They sat at his bedside in his final days, reminisced and told him what a wonderful difference he made in their lives, and how thankful they were.

Starting in his childhood and regardless of his physical challenges, Soule loved adventure. As a young boy nothing thrilled him more than climbing a tree, exploring for frogs and riding his bike, “the Green Hornet.” Green, the color of his beloved Ireland, was his favorite color, and he would frequently wear various shades of it.

Family was very important to Soule. He was the favorite uncle of many nieces and nephews, always being supportive and loving. He never forgot a birthday, as well celebrating “unbirthdays,” and loved surprising the young ones with May Day baskets or hunts for leprechauns and pots of gold. He went to games and graduations and always was available to listen. He never judged or scolded. He was always a safe harbor.

He was a devoted son, brother, nephew, uncle and cousin to his large extended family and many dear friends. He is predeceased by his mother, Lillian W. Soule, and a sister, Mary J. Soule.

He is survived by his father, William P. Soule and his wife Gloria, of South Portland;  brothers William G. Soule and wife Jenny of Fryeburg, and Christopher F. Soule and wife Erin of South Portland; sister Nancy Soule Druce and husband J. Dix Druce Jr. of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. and Boothbay; nieces Katherine Soule Derby and Elizabeth H. Smith; nephews William P Soule II, Michael B. Soule, Reid W. Smith and Ian M. Soule; grandnieces Shannon Derby, Dylan Derby and Zoey R. Soule; beloved aunts Martha Whitmore and Dianne Gooley; and uncle Bruce Gooley.

A Mass of Christian burial was scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Cross Church, in South Portland, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery, in South Portland.

Donations can be made to the Maine Irish Heritage Center, P.O. Box 7588, Portland, ME 04102.

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