CAPT. ROBERT M. SPEAR

Posted April 28, 2010, at 8:03 p.m.

PHIPPSBURG – Capt. Robert M. Spear, 59, of Fiddler’s Reach Road, died Monday, April 26, 2010, at his residence, after a long illness. He was born May 18, 1950, in Rockland, a son of Capt. C. W. and Bertha I. Spear of Phippsburg. Rob graduated from Morse High School, Class of 1968, and Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, in 1972. After working briefly at Gamage Shipyard, South Bristol, he sailed on numerous vessels of the Exxon Shipping Co. fleet in various deck officer capacities. He left the company after sailing as master for a number of years and went directly into the employ of Coastal Corp. as a seagoing master. After five years with the coastal fleet, he returned full-time to the Maine coast and began piloting vessels on Penobscot Bay. His active piloting years with the Penobscot Bay and River Pilots were ended in 2004 due to complications resulting from his illness. Capt. Rob will be remembered as a skilled seaman and shiphandler. His unfailing kindness and compassion for those around him, however, were his most outstanding traits. He was often seen at Morse High School events supporting student activities and local teams, both varsity and intramural. He was officially recognized at the last Morse home basketball game for his avid fan participation and loyalty despite his challenging physical limitations. Rob was pleased and proud of his children and particularly to watch the growth and participation of his son, Charles, through his high school years. Rob’s parents, Capt. Bill Spear, a merchant sea captain and port captain for Bath Iron Works in the 1950s and early 1960s, and Bertha Spear, cherished this middle child. He shared their love of animals and was widely known for his kindness and integrity. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Beth” Fisher of Phippsburg, the current director of Mid-Coast School of Technology, Rockland; and two children, Julie Spear, 27, of Charlotte, N.C., and Charles D. Spear of Phippsburg, class president of the 2010 graduating class at Morse High School, Bath. He is also survived by brothers and sisters, Richard B. Spear and his wife, Shyla, of Phippsburg, Capt. John M. Spear and his wife, Laurel, of Westport Island, Margaret Spear and her husband, Ed Dinger, of Portland, Ore., and William T. Spear and his wife, Karen, of Portland. A commemorative service will be held 1 p.m. May 1 at Maine Maritime Museum, Bath. Burial, at a later date, by the family, will be at Morningside Cemetery, Phippsburg, where his ashes will rest beside his beloved parents. Memorial contributions may be made to Capt. Robert M. Spear ’72, Maine Maritime Academy Scholarship Fund, care of Capt. David Gelinas, Penobscot Bay and River Pilots, 18 Mortland Road, Searsport, ME 04974; Project Graduation, Class of 2010, Jay Lamont-Morse High School, Morse High School-Athletics, Scott Walker-Morse High School, 826 High St., Bath, ME 04530; Friends of Doubling Point Light, care of Joyce G. Spencer, 140 Doubling Point Road, Arrowsic, ME 04530; Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath, ME 04530; or Coastal Humane Society, 30 Range Road, Brunswick, ME 04011. Arrangements are by Desmond Funeral Home, High Street, Bath.

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