Charles Minot Dole Jr.

Charles Minot Dole Jr. died peacefully on Friday, July 19 at home in Essex, Connecticut, after a brief battle with multiple myeloma. He was 85.

An entrepreneur and innovator with degrees from Middlebury College and the Chicago Institute of Design, “Mint” founded Dole Associates, a virtual corporation that conceived and produced industrial design solutions. He was a pioneer in user-centered product design and developed a wide array of innovations, from adding bungee cords to tent poles for Eureka to developing in-home mononucleosis and pregnancy tests and medical devices for Becton Dickenson to engineering Duracell’s initial line of flashlights.

Mint, the son of Charles Minot Dole and Jane Ely Dole of Greenwich, Connecticut, grew up in a very musical family. While at Middlebury College, he co-founded the Dissipated Eight, a men’s a cappella singing group. With his tenor voice, he continued singing with their alumnae group and the Yale Whiffenpoof Alumnae group. He also was a talented water color artist and loved skiing, sailing and bird hunting with his beloved Gordon setters.

Mint’s ingenuity as a designer and problem solver extended past his work, best seen in his 50-plus years of devotion to maintaining the family’s 120-year-old Adirondack Great Camp. He was a generous and gracious host, offering guests the chance to experience the magic he felt so deeply while encouraging them in lively, open-minded conversations. He was indeed a great character.

He is survived by his loving wife Burgess Dole, sister Susan Armstrong, children Trux Dole and Erika Hemphill and their mother Istar Mudge, grandchildren the late Gage Dole and Oliver and Natalia Hemphill, stepsons Peter and Alex Russell, and step-grandchildren Violet and Alex Russell, along with his second wife Barbara Hall and her three children.

The services will be held at St. John’s in the Wilderness in Paul Smiths on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. and at the Onteora Club in Tannersville. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Mint’s memory to the Dissipated Eight Alumni Association, c/o Middlebury College: http://go.middlebury.edu/give.