David Anable

David Anable.jpg
David John Henry Anable
June 7, 1939
August 13, 2023

(photo courtesy of The Christian Science Monitor)

David John Henry Anable—a journalist whose career reached around the globe and touched the lives of many—died in Portland, Maine, on August 13, 2023, while in the loving company of his wife, daughters, and grandchildren. He was 84.

David was born on June 7, 1939, in the village of Brampford Speke in England to Arthur Anable and Joan (Bruford) Anable. He loved growing up in the Devon countryside and aspired to be a farmer. At age eight, he went as a boarding student to Fan Court School, and later returned there for two years as a math teacher and sports coach. In 1962, David graduated with a degree in agriculture from Cambridge University. He went directly on to graduate school at Oxford University and received a degree in agricultural economics in 1963. 
It was during his time working as a research officer for the Conservative Party at Westminster that David met Isobel, his future wife. David always said that when she opened the door at their first meeting, he knew right away that he would marry her! Nine months later, the two were married in Kensington, London. 

David joined The Christian Science Monitor in London, and subsequently he and Isobel were relocated by the paper to Boston. He spent more than 20 years with the Monitor in a variety of roles, from reporter and New York bureau chief to international news editor and managing editor. In the Monitor newsroom, he was the beloved mentor to several generations of journalists. Both in and outside of work, and during his travels around the world, he held a great curiosity and respect for all people. 

He and Isobel raised three daughters while living primarily in Hingham, Massachusetts. He was a devoted father, with the ability to shift his focus from deadlines to daughters. He was the household dishwasher, an avid gardener, and an amateur woodworker, who always had time to listen, comfort, and help. David and Isobel took their children and dog on long walks, often to World’s End on Hingham’s coast. The family frequently visited England to see family members and friends.

After leaving the Monitor in 1988, David became a professor of journalism and chairman of the Journalism School at Boston University. He later moved to Washington, D.C., to become president of the International Center for Journalists, a nonprofit that aims to raise the quality of journalism across the globe by training journalists and media managers in more than 170 countries. Following his tenure at ICFJ, he was a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. More recently, The Principia, a school and college for Christian Scientists, brought him out of retirement to help it through a period of transition as its chief executive; he remained on its board of trustees in the following years. 

In 2009, David officially retired, and he and Isobel moved to Maine full-time. Their summers were spent at their cottage on Long Lake, with visits from their children and eventually grandchildren. He and Iso enjoyed gardening, boating, mountain hiking, and entertaining their many visitors who came to the area. David also continued to write articles for various publications, served on several boards, took the occasional writing or painting class, and was a devoted, loving, kind, and funny father, husband, and brother. 

David is survived by his wife of 57 years, Isobel; their children, Alexandra Anable, Tessa Anable, and Perryn Anable Ferris, son-in-law Scott Ferris; six grandchildren, Conrad, Andrew, Timothy, Cullen, Skye, and Charlie; and his beloved sister, Wizz Andreae.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on October 21, 2023 at 10am at First Parish Church at 425 Congress Street in Portland, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to be made in David’s honor to these organizations:
Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton, Maine (mainelakes.org), Maine Public (mainepublic.org), ICFJ (International Center for Journalists, icfj.org)
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