Richard E. Rossiter

Aug 21, 2014
Richard E. Rossiter

Islesboro — Richard Earl “Dick” Rossiter, 79, died June 25, 2014, of respiratory failure at Maine Medical Center in Portland with his daughter and her mother at his side.

He was born in Camden Feb. 3, 1935, to the late Willis Rossiter and Virginia Wing Rossiter. He spent the first half of his life between Camden and the family’s houseboat, called “the birdcage” by his father, on 700 Acre Island. He graduated from Camden High School in 1953, where he excelled at basketball. He moved to Islesboro in 1981, where he remained until his death.

He served as Special Forces for the Army during the Korean War, where he was stationed in Bad Aibling, Germany. He began working with his father at SB Norton & Son boatyard on 700 Acre Island in his younger years and stayed on when it became Dark Harbor Boat Yard. He was the Captain of Mrs. Cornelius Crane’s 42-foot Matthews yacht, the Kamome. He worked as a caretaker for Mrs. Douglas Auchincloss for many years, and later worked for Susan Wolf and Steve Reynolds on Shipyard Point. He was a lifelong fisherman and lobsterman, hauling his last trap in the fall of 2013.

Known by many for his gruff, wise-cracking fisherman exterior, those who were lucky enough to get close to him will remember him as the extremely intelligent, kind, generous, thoughtful and witty man that he was. He always had a joke and a story for anyone who had time to listen. He was a voracious reader who loved history, the classics, and especially Russian literature. However, in the long island winters, he would devour just about any book put in front of him. He spent countless hours working in his shop, listening to Roger Miller with a cup of black coffee in his hand.

He was fiercely independent, hardworking and loved being out on the ocean. He was proud to have spent most of his life working out on the water, with only himself and the sea to answer to.

Dick was predeceased by his father, Willis Rossiter; his mother, Virginia Wing Rossiter; his son, Craig Rossiter; and his beloved maternal aunts Madelyn Carr, Marjorie Bowen and Myrtle Simmons. Surviving are his daughter Ashley Rossiter of Portland and her mother Rachel Rolerson-Smith of Islesboro; his brother Donald Rossiter of Camden; his sister Joyce Buchanan of South Carolina; his grandchildren, Zephila Rossiter of Portland and Farley Rossiter of Hawaii; his great-granddaughter Freyja Goodwin-Rossiter of Portland; his stepson, Travis Stearns of Belfast; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations can be made to Waiting to Breathe online at

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