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William Brister

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William Carr Brister died on August 9, 2013, of lung cancer. Bill was born on September 11, 1939, in a hospital in Puerto Armuelles, on the tropical Pacific coast of Panama near the Costa Rican border. His parents were Elizabeth Chapman Smith and William Carr Brister. Bill spent his first years in a house on stilts, hundreds of miles into the Panamanian bush, and later on the west coast of Costa Rica near the village of Palmar, where his father was a superintendent of agriculture for the United Fruit Company. He moved to Ambler, Pennsylvania, attending the Springhouse School (which his father had also attended), and then Washington, D.C., where he went to the Sidwell Friends School. He also lived in Chicago for three years, studying at the Francis Parker School, where his maternal grandfather was headmaster. In 1954 his family moved to Guatemala City, and Bill attended the American School of Guatemala for a year before finishing high school on Cape Cod, graduating in 1957 from Yarmouth High School. After attending Brown University for a year, Bill joined the Air Force. Following his military service, he earned a B.A. in Government from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1964 he married Pindy Helen May Mastin, an early education teacher from Ridgewood, New Jersey whose family summered in East Dennis. The couple settled in East Dennis between Scargo Lake and Cape Cod Bay, and Bill became a Chatham fisherman. Fishing from the late '60s to the mid '80s, he owned and captained various boats, including the Pindy II, Black Mariah, and Madonna, fully experiencing the boom and bust of Cape Cod fisheries. More recently, Bill enjoyed estate sales, selling on eBay and spending time with his cocker spaniel, Devin. Bills wife Pindy died in 1987. Bill is survived by son William Carr Brister IV, of East Dennis, son Daniel Mastin Brister and his wife Andrea of Arlee, Montana, and son Charles Keohane Brister of Crested Butte Colorado, as well as by a grandson, William (Liam) Carr Brister V. He is also survived by his brother Jack and sister-in-law Sue, sister Judith, three nephews, two nieces, and by his companion of many years, Mary Ellen Mahoney, of Harwich. A memorial service, at the east end of Quivet Cemetery, will be held on 21 September at 12 p.m. noon.

Published in The Cape Codder from Aug. 14 to Aug. 21, 2013
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