Capt. Donald R. Fiske, Sr. ’62

Captain Donald Randel Fiske Sr. 77, formerly of Kennebunkport passed away on March 17, 2019, after a brief illness.

He was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on March 30, 1941, son of Eugene and Josephine (Randel) Fiske and grandson of Mayor Edwin W. Fiske, Mount Vernon.

He and his wife Ruth were introduced by a Senior Officer during an Atlantic crossing on the S.S. Independence and were married in 1965.

From a young age, Don was drawn to the sea, and this quickly became his way of life. He was mentored each summer by the fishermen of Cape Porpoise, in particular Arnold Stinson, with whom he shared a lifelong friendship. He learned more about the ocean, waves, currents and winds that affect every size of vessel, and was thrilled as a kid whenever Arnold allowed him to take the helm of his lobster boat. It was clear his destiny was in going to sea.

He became a merchant mariner following graduation from the Maine Maritime Academy, Class of 1962, serving as a Deck Officer with American Export and Isbrandtsen, and later as a captain on Sunoco tankers.

After retirement Don served for more than 15 years as selectman for Kennebunkport, always respecting the part that fishermen play in that long-established community’s history and economy. The informal gatherings at The Pier played a large part in his years there. He also served on the Alumni Board of Maine Maritime Academy, and delighted in talking with students considering attending the school, or already enrolled there.

Off the water Don dedicated time and effort to renovating the family homes and of course telling sea stories.

Don is survived by his wife, Ruth Huseboe Fiske, their two children, Donald Fiske Jr. and wife Michelle, and Gillian Balback and her husband Lee, and beloved grandchildren Thomas, Anna, and Aidan.

A celebration of life will be held in the spring in Cape Porpoise, time and location to be announced.

To view Don’s memorial page or leave an online condolence, please visit

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given in his name to Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, or the Nursing Program at Southern Maine Community College.