Erwin S. “Kip” Soule

West Palm Beach, Fla., formerly of BAR HARBOR


Erwin S. “Kip” Soule was born on Oct. 25, 1925, in Newport, the son of Perley and Elfie Soule. Kip passed on May 29, 2020, at the age of 94.

He was a graduate of Newport High School, Class of 1943. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and served over two years in the Pacific Theatre aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. After the service, he attended Husson College and started his banking career with the Merrill Trust Co. in Bangor. He rose through the ranks and became manager of the Old Town branch in January 1955. Subsequently, he took a job with the First National Bank of Bar Harbor, where he was made cashier and CEO of the bank in January 1957, and later became the bank’s president in 1962 until his retirement in 1989. Upon his retirement, he continued on the bank’s board of directors as vice chairman and then chairman for five years.

He was very active in banking and civic affairs. He was president of the Maine chapter of the Bank Administration Institute; a member of the Maine Bankers Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee for several years, and as its president from 1975-1976, and was also chairman of the Maine BankPac. He was president of the following organizations: the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce; the Mount Desert Island Hospital; the Mount Desert Island YMCA; the Mount Desert Island Lion’s Club and Kebo Valley Golf Club. He was Master of the Bar Harbor Masonic Lodge; chairman and a founding member of the Bar Harbor Housing Authority; co-chairman of the Bar Harbor Business Improvement Committee; chairman of the Town of Bar Harbor Warrant Committee; chairman of the Executive Committee and treasurer of the Maine Seacoast Missionary Society; treasurer of the Bar Harbor Club; cabinet secretary-treasurer of the Lion’s International, District 41-0; member of the board of directors and treasurer of Friends of Acadia; founding board member of the College of the Atlantic; and a member of the following organizations: the Old Town Rotary Club, the MDI Lion’s Club, the Anah Temple Shriner’s; the governing Board of Trustees of The Jackson Laboratory, the Bar Harbor Bluenose Committee, The Jackson Laboratory Chapter, the George Edwin Kirk Post American Legion and Governor Brennan’s Business Advisory Council; and he was also a trustee of the Bar harbor YWCA. He was the recipient of the Small Business Administration’s Banker of the Year Award in 1983 and the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Cadillac Award in 1990.

He was proud of the fact that upon his retirement from First National Bank, the board of directors named the bank building the “Erwin S. Soule Building” for his service to the bank and the community. Also, he was pleased to have served as co-chairman of the Bar Harbor Business Improvement Committee with Jimmy MacLeod, and as the able assistant of attorney Douglas Chapman, he was able to get the sidewalks on Maine Street in the business district redone with cement brick pavers and tree plantings.

He was very fortunate to have his very loving and compassionate wife by his side over the years, which made his time and effort all worthwhile.

Kip loved to play golf in the summer at Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor, and spend winters at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Besides his wife and son, he had many pleasant playing times with Dave Payne, Phil Norton, Boogie Grindell, Ronnie MacQuinn, Tubby Collier and Dave Benson.

Kip is survived by his wife, Gloria, of 69 years, and son, Gary, and his wife, Pamela Rene. When he first met Gloria while on leave from service, it was love at first sight, and that love continued to grow all through the years. If there is a place in heaven, he hopes that they can be together again there. He was proud of his son, Gary, who became a successful PGA golf professional and was equally proud that Gary married such a sweet and lovable girl as Rene.

In lieu of flowers, Kip has requested contributions in his name to the Bar Harbor Congregational Church or Friends of Acadia in Bar Harbor.

Know when to pay your respects.