Alexander B. Brook

Alexander B. Brook

    Alexander B. Brook, who was known as Sandy, died at home in Newcastle, Me., on Jan. 23 after a heart attack. He was 89.
    Mr. Brook, the longtime owner and publisher of a weekly newspaper in Maine, had worked for The Sag Harbor Express in the winter of 1947, writing items for 10 cents an inch, according to a 1985 interview in The East Hampton Star.
    He returned from Maine in the late 1970s, after selling his newspaper, to live on North Haven, but spent his last years in Newcastle living with his wife, Kelly Patton Brook, and seven animals. He was working on a novel as well as a five-volume compilation of his essays, and taking the time to read, which was only a luxury during his newspaper days, his wife said. He was an avid reader of the classical poets as well as newspapers and news magazines.
    In 1958, Mr. Brook bought the Kennebunk Star, a moribund weekly newspaper, and an associated print shop. He quit his job as an assistant to the president of a sugar company in Manhattan and moved with his then-wife and three young children from New Jersey to Maine.
    Under his ownership, the paper grew from a four-page, one-town paper to an 80-page regional news and opinion journal. He expanded it to encompass other local weeklies, creating, in the 1960s and ’70s, The York County Coast Star. It became a four-time winner of Harvard’s Neiman Fellows Award for “best weekly in the nation.”
    Over two decades at the helm of the paper, he wrote some 2,000 editorials, and personal columns, including 53 pieces published as a collection of essays, “I Begin Through the Grass — A Maine Journal.”
    He also published two novels, “Ragged Meadow,” and “Smiler With a Knife,” and five other collections of essays.
    In 1993, Mr. Brook’s memoir, “The Hard Way: The Odyssey of a Weekly Newspaper Editor,” was published by Bridge Works, the first book to be published by that Bridgehampton press.
    A New York Times review of that book said that “Sandy Brook believes that a weekly newspaper should be an all-encompassing portrait of the life of the community,” and notes that he adopted “two broad and uncompromising editorial positions” — that local government should be open and honest, and that the Maine coast should be protected from wanton development.
    Alexander Brook was born in Woodstock, N.Y., on June 20, 1922. He worked in Maine during summer vacations from Choate and Yale University. In 1942, he left Yale before his senior year to join the Navy, and became a carrier-based fighter pilot during World War II.
    He returned to Yale after his discharge in November 1945, graduating as an English major the next year.
    Between short stints working as a lumberjack and a wrangler in Maine and elsewhere, he wrote his first novel. In 1949, he signed on as an assistant to a jute buyer in India and Pakistan for a trade association of American Mills, and eventually became assistant to the president of the New York Stock Exchange.
    Besides his wife, Mr. Brook is survived by three children, Megan Brook of Cambridge, Mass., Lisbet Brook of Brentwood, Calif., and Eben Brook of Kennebunk. Three grandchildren also survive.
    A celebration of Mr. Brook’s life will be held at the family house in June. Memorial donations will be collected at the Animal House in Damariscotta, Me., for contribution to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
Isabell Gould, 91
    Isabell L. Gould, a former registered nurse who lived on Sherrill Road in East Hampton for many years, died on Nov. 29 at her daughter’s house in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. She was 91 and had been ill for some time.
    After graduating from East Hampton High School, she attended the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Brooklyn and then returned to the South Fork, where she found employment as a private practice registered nurse in Southampton and East Hampton.
    She married Ralph Charles Gould in 1943. The couple lived in East Hampton until moving to Richmond, Va., 12 years ago. Her husband died not long afterward.
    At the East Hampton Methodist Church and at Shady Grove Methodist Church in Glen Allen, Va., Ms. Gould enjoyed singing in the chorus, something she continued to do until she was 80.
    Ms. Gould is remembered by her family as having a great sense of humor and for her love of gardening, golf, cooking, bridge, knitting, and sewing.
    The second of four daughters, she was born in East Hampton to Nicholas and Phoebe Card Bock on Oct. 12, 1920.
    She is survived by three children, Donna Garvey of Hopewell Junction, Susan Hollander of Novato, Calif., and Dr. Charles Gould of Glen Allen. She leaves six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
    Funeral arrangements were private, although Ms. Garvey said the family is planning on returning to East Hampton next fall to spread Ms. Gould’s ashes. The family has suggested memorial contributions to the East Hampton Methodist Church, 35 Pantigo Road, East Hampton 11937.