GRAY — Ramon Farrin Jr., a well-known lobsterman who fished out of Yarmouth, died unexpectedly on Sunday. He was 64.

Mr. Farrin, known by most people as “Kelly,” learned how to row a boat around the same time he learned to walk. As a boy, he went lobstering with his father off South Bristol, where he grew up.

Though lobstering was in his blood, he took a position as a clerk at the Portland Post Office’s Forest Avenue branch. Near the end of his 20-year career, he decided to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a lobsterman. He bought a small boat, Genesis, and 35 lobster traps to scatter around Casco Bay.

He later upgraded to a 35-foot boat he named, Ashley Marie, after his granddaughter, Ashley Cloutier. At the time of his death, he was hauling 800 traps. He lobstered out of Yarmouth for the past 19 years.

“It’s what he was destined to do,” said his daughter, Lori Cloutier, of Poland. “He loved being on the water. He loved being his own boss. He was very much at peace on the water.”

Mr. Farrin instilled his love and passion for lobstering in his two children. His son Skip Farrin of Minot also lobsters out of Yarmouth.

Mr. Farrin taught his daughter the ropes too. Cloutier said she helped her father haul traps for many summers. She said they worked well together.

“We could go all day without saying a word,” she said. “I knew what to do. He always talked about how (he liked working with me) cause he never had a sternman who understood what he expected.”

He was married to the former Jan Hawkes for 41 years. Cloutier said her parents complemented each other and had a good life together. She said he was a great father.

“He was the best,” she said. “He was understanding, but stern. If we needed anything, he was there. He was completely head over heels in love with his four grandchildren. They are going to miss him.”

In his early years, Mr. Farrin served in the Coast Guard and was a lighthouse keeper for Cuckolds Light in Southport. He wrote a story about his experience for Lighthouse Digest magazine. In July of 2005, his lobster boat was featured on the cover of National Fisherman magazine.

Mr. Farrin was a regular at Cole Farms restaurant in Gray. He visited a few times a day for coffee and enjoyed talking with the regulars and waitresses. Kelly Gannett, a waitress at Cole Farms, said on Monday that their regulars were shocked and saddened to learn of his passing.

“He was a regular at the counter,” Gannett said. “He was a special guy. I’m going to miss him a lot.”

Mr. Farrin had chest pains late Sunday, but refused to go to the hospital. His wife called 911 when the pain became worse. Cloutier said her father walked to the ambulance, rather than waiting for a stretcher. He died en route to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

“He was stubborn,” she said. “If he had allowed Mom to call the ambulance at 9 p.m., he might be with us. He was such a strong-willed person who regardless of his pain carried on. My parents have been married since 1969 and she has lost her best friend.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]