Robert Palmer Coles Jr Machias

Robert Palmer Coles, Jr, 93, died November 4, 2017 at his home surrounded by family and friends. He was born December 21, 1923 in Bronx, New York, the son of the late Robert Palmer Coles, Sr. and Martha Surburt.

He joined the Navy at age 17 in 1941 and was actively involved in shooting down the Japanese Torpedo Bombers at the Battle of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He retired from the Navy as Chief Petty Officer with 30 years of service as a Chief Radioman receiving eight medals and 17 battle stars. Following his retirement he remained active with his lawn care business, creating long- term great employee/employer relationships and customers. 

He was well known for educating all that he came in contact with through speeches, parades, and honors, especially the youth of our country. He never turned down an opportunity to enrich people with his gift of gab. He instilled ethics, a moral compass and patriotism. 

His fondest memory was visiting Pearl Harbor Hawaii on the 75th Anniversary with his dear friend Dennis Boyd. Chris Facchini of WLBZ Channel 2 in Bangor was instrumental in a documentary of his 75th Anniversary Trip earning a 2nd place media award for Maine.He received a honorary high school diploma on his 93rd birthday from Machias Memorial High School .He was a master at his favorite pastime, conquering the Bangor Daily crossword puzzle. He enjoyed fostering deep and loving relationships with many friends at his local hangout, the American Legion Post #9 where he became an expert teacher and winner of his beloved cribbage game.

He is survived by a son Michael Coles of Beacon, New York; two daughters Kathryn Panay of Milford, Pennsylvania and Patricia Coles of Hamilton Square, New Jersey; a stepdaughter Margaret Gerow of Sultan Washington; grandchildren Rhonda, John, Laura, Matthew, Brandt, and Lisa, as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his first wife and mother to his children Marie Patricia Coles; second wife Katherine Bertie Coles; a daughter Linda Coyle; and a brother Wilbert Schubert Coles

Friends were invited to visit with the family beginning at 10 a.m. at the Machias Memorial High School Gymnasium on Friday November 10. All were invited to share words and memories. Interment with full military honors followed at 1300 hours at the Longfellow Cemetery, Machias. A reception will follow at the Lee Pellon Center.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in his memory to the U.S.O., the National Sheriffs’ Association, or to the Maine State Troopers Association.

Condolences and memories may be shared at

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