Reverend Dr. John Douglas Sholl


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Reverend Dr. John Douglas Sholl
January 6, 1944
July 11, 2020










Portland- The beloved Reverend Dr John Douglas Sholl died on July 11, 2020 from complications due to Alzheimer’s Disease and the covid-19 virus.  He was a tender warrior until the end, inspiring others with his innate calm and wise nature.

Doug was much loved and respected, known for his integrity and kindness, his unassuming strength and his endless compassion.  He had been committed to racial justice and the needs of the poor since his high school years and was unwavering in his call for justice, and for bringing people together.

He was a loving husband and father, and a friend to many, willing to listen and walk with others in times of trouble.  He loved music from Bach to the Blues. He loved playing his autoharp with others.  He loved gardening and biking, and he loved encouraging others. He happily attended literary events around the state with his wife.

Doug grew up in Cleveland Heights, OH, the son of Marjorie Hill and Dr. John G. Sholl.  He is a graduate of Bucknell University, Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School and Palmer Theological Seminary.  He worked as a community organizer in Boston, as a juvenile probation counselor in Wise County, Virginia, and for over 30 years as a marriage and family therapist in Biddeford and Portland, Maine.  He was also Associate Pastor at Central Square Baptist Church for eight years and interim pastor at The Church of the Servant, a Mennonite congregation for four years.

In Boston Doug started Hillside Outreach, a resource for youth and families.  In Virginia, among other programs, he trained prison inmates to act as big brothers to his juvenile probationers. He also started an alternative middle school and a camping program for troubled youth.  He served in the praise band at East Stone Gap United Methodist Church. After moving to Maine in 1983, Doug opened a counseling practice in conjunction with his brother, Dr. Robert Sholl, at Wellspring Health Ministries.  He was active in several peer-training groups for counselors.  He was one of the original founders of the Root Cellar and worked with CAV 2000, a group working for support and reconciliation in Central Africa.  Doug was tethered to his faith and for the last few years he attended Christchurch of Portland.

Doug is predeceased by his parents and his brother David Sholl.  He is survived by his wife of over 50 years Elizabeth Neary (Betsy) Sholl, his son Dr. John Matthew Sholl (Wynne), his daughter Hannah Sholl Tarkinson (Dan) and his adopted-by-heart son Richard Afuma (Enestine).  He is also survived by his brother Dr. Robert Sholl (Noreen), and sisters Debora Humphreys (David), Rebecca Baer (Rob), as well as by six grandchildren (Isabella, Maxwell, Rhyse, Wyatt, Brandon and Braelynn).  

A celebration of Doug’s life will be held at a later date to be announced.

Online condolences may be expressed below.




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