Onset-Eric M. DeCoster, 59, of Onset passed away on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. He was the son of Marlene (Monosson) DeCoster, the late Ray DeCoster and brother of Carolyn Abrams of Onset.
The man was a consummate logician, man of letters with a renaissance man’s reach, formidable opponent in Chess (the more intricate the plotting the better)-yet with an entrepreneurial streak. Our Eric also delighted in teaching and life coaching while being a fervent and fascinated student of life. He always approached his day with a witty, salty and curiously twisted sense of humor.
His accomplishments were many and unusually diverse. He was an intellectual with a jack of all trades with diverse large and small tools and a skill set to match. Received awards as a musician and a bowler extraordinaire. He was the Job Corps counsellor and flea market specialist who earned an MBA and JD license yet was simultaneously a salesman and electrologist. He was as likely to be slogging and picking his way through a cranberry bog as a ship shape shipmate serving on the Mayflower at Plimouth Plantation. You might also find him as a short order cook at Sandy’s one day and as the teacher of a legal course preparing aspiring lawyers for the Bar Exam the next.
One of his greatest and unexpected enjoyments was as a Gentleman farmer in upstate New York specializing in organic garlic, gigantic pumpkins and the kind of soybeans that were prized as exports to Japan. Picture him happily standing in his field snapping his suspenders with satisfaction. On the same day he would be likely to work on one of his several books with artistic renditions of children’s limericks. Along the way he taught himself to make jewelry of original designs and had a delicate touch wielding a torch while working under a magnifying glass. Yet, there was a fishing boat on a trailer in the garage.
Eric, the polymath, was born in Boston to Ray and beautiful Marlene and the family soon moved to Onset. As a toddler he cut his teeth on fishing as a shellfish digger. The serious fishing started soon enough as he learned to navigate and fish the cove, and later the bay, and finally the sea as one of the Roy’s Boys. Michael Johnson of Onset would become his brother is spirit. Meanwhile, the family grew to completion with the addition of his sister, Carolyn, in 1965.
He returned to Onset to live in 2016, the decision being encouraged by his inheriting a house there from his beloved Uncle. The pull of the sea was stronger than that of the land even though he had enjoyed running a farm. The house took on some distinctive artsy touches in his hands. Kayaks joined the fishing boat in the garage. It was carefully restored and improved after a recent fire at some cost rather than his moving away from his roots due to that setback. This project was complicated by the requirements of chemotherapy to fend off an aggressive cancer, but he relocated inland for 6 months to get it done. Amidst these tribulations he retained his ability to attract accomplished professional women who sought his conversation, unusual perspective and attention- in person, on the phone and on line. He had a special hold on impressive women. Though he never married, he was rarely alone. His continuing kindness, generosity and caring, especially for those he fiercely loved, was admirable in the extreme
Unfortunately, he has passed from our presence. He seemed to be recovering from his bout with Covid after specialized treatment in the hospital. He knew he had weakened resistance to the virus and its likely aftermath, and was serious about staying quarantined, but he was not a recluse. He nearly made it to the point when a vaccine would have been available to him. But, the Covid related issues proved to be too much for him to withstand any longer.
He is on his final trip, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. He was the best of travel companions, tolerant of wrong turns and curious about where the road not intentionally taken might lead. He would fill the spaces between landmarks and fine restaurants with historically based commentary on everything from the American Revolution to WWI pilots and planes. Ever curious, he is at last learning the answers to some questions and existential matters he wanted very much to understand. The only way one can learn about many of them is by leaving this plane of existence. He has done so and will be missed.
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