SOUTH PORTLAND - David Jonathan Soule, age 62, passed away Monday, May 13, 2013 lovingly surrounded by his family and a legion of friends. Born August 13, 1950, David was a life time resident of South Portland, Maine. At the age of 3, David was injured in an accident that left him with a spinal cord injury challenging him for the remainder of his life; this never discouraged, distracted or slowed him down. His early education at Holy Cross Grammar School in South Portland, Maine 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 no longer allowed. David 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. David's passion for teaching began to flourish after taking a position at Mahoney Jr. High School and later South Portland High School as a special education teacher. David was passionate about his students. He demanded that they work hard but his advocacy for them was unrelenting. He studied their files, but more importantly, he knew them as young men and women who all had strengths to offer the world. David worked tirelessly, often under far less than ideal circumstances given his own physical challenges. That never slowed him down. However, he made phone calls to parents from home on weekends, informing, counseling and guiding them. Parents respected David; students loved him. Firm but tender, he was available to them in more ways than I can count, supporting each and every one at multiple outside events like sports, drama club or musicals. You name it, David was there, and students noticed. It was his way of letting them know that he valued them, and he truly did. Years later, he could recall names with ease, as they had been imprinted on his mind because they were far more than just a student on his caseload...they were young adults and he was nurturing them every sstep of the way. (friend and former colleague) "David talked about his students as individuals. Instead of detailing academic achievement, he recounted moments of personal growth. Instead of bragging about test scores, David talked of moments, interactions, and situations in which his students shined and developed their sense of identity and morality. (family member/ student teacher)Years after David retired, these challenging students, David fondly called Scallywags, would stop by his home for a visit. Whether just checking in or offering David help around his home and yard, these students never forgot him. During his illness, it was a great comfort to David 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 David 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 was his favorite color and he would often be seen wear various shades. Not unlike the 40 shades of green back in his beloved Ireland. David was very creative and a talented artist working with many different mediums such as wood carving, watercolor and oil paintings, gold leaf stenciling, knitting and sewing. He made a beautiful and elaborate christening gown for his niece Elizabeth that has been worn by all nieces and nephews since. It is a treasured heirloom. As an adult his quest for adventure continued and led him to participate in activities such as Maine handicap skiing, hiking Mount Washington and Bald Face Mountain, and travel; his favorite being his numerous trips exploring Connemara, Ireland, where he passionately researched his family history. David's boundless passion for all things Irish inspired the creation of the Maine Irish Heritage Center and the rescue of St Dominic's church for its home. David chose to see what was possible rather than the perceived obstacles. It is to his credit that St Dom's, built by Portland's Irish immigrants, was saved. A wonderful storyteller, David relished in the history of Ireland and Maine. He also loved telling Irish tales and could never resist telling a good ghost story to the delight of many. David never went anywhere where he didn't make lasting friendships. He naturally drew people to himself. He was always thoughtful and considerate. Every Saturday morning of his adult life you could find him at a local coffee shop or in his own kitchen, surrounded by friends who knew him from grade school, college or his many pursuits, all connected by their fondness of David and enjoying discussions of what events the week before had held for each of them or the world. David had an unquenchable curiosity when it came to his family tree and did extensive research compiling his family's genealogy. He leaves behind a wealth of information, records, and photographs including his quarterly newsletters, The Mulligan Stew, that his family will forever cherish. Family was very important to David and he made every effort to be present in all our lives. 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. David, was a devoted son, brother, nephew, uncle and cousin to his large extended family and many dear friends. He is pre-deceased 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 (Dimauro) of South Portland, Me, his brothers; William G Soule and wife Jenny of Fryeburg, Me, Christopher F Soule and wife Erin (Kane) of South Portland , Me and his sister Nancy Soule Druce and husband J. Dix Druce Jr. of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and Boothbay, Me. He is also survived by his nieces Katherine Soule Derby and Elizabeth H. Smith and his nephews William P Soule II, Michael B. Soule, Reid W. Smith, and Ian M. Soule, grandnieces Shannon Derby, Dylan Derby, and Zoey R. Soule and beloved Aunts Martha Whitmore, Dianne Gooley and Uncle Bruce Gooley. Donations can be made to:Maine Irish Heritage CenterPO Box 7588Portland, Maine 04112 Visiting hours will be held 2 to 4 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 17 at the Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Church, corner of Broadway and Cottage Road, South Portland. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.Online condolences may be expressed below.