He played collegiate hockey, leading his Bowdoin College team to its first championship in 1954.

As he grew older, he competed in doubles and mixed-doubles tennis, started running marathons in his 40s, and swam competitively into his 70s.

Not even a cancer diagnosis three years ago could slow him down, and he earned national recognition last year after his team of seniors set age-group records at the New England Masters swimming competition.

Robert Parks “Hap” Hazzard III died May 22 at his home on Mere Point in Brunswick. He was 80 years old.

“He was just a courageous, strong, intentioned guy with a lot of will to live,” said his daughter Molly Shamel of Brunswick.

Mr. Hazzard was born and raised in Gardiner. After graduating from Bowdoin, he married his sweetheart, Anne Bates Purinton, in April 1955 — and the marriage lasted 57 years.

“He was madly in love with her,” Shamel said of her father’s courtship.

Mr. Hazzard continued his education at the Wharton School of Business, and began a career in accounting and financial management in Boston.

He and his wife moved to Yarmouth in the early 1960s, where they raised five children. The couple moved to Brunswick in 1996.

Mr. Hazzard acquired the nickname “Hap” from the athletes he competed with throughout the years.

“He needed a catchy name and Hap was it,” his daughter said.

In 2011, Mr. Hazzard was featured in Sports Illustrated magazine’s “Faces in the Crowd” — a brief profile of the team of masters swimmers from Maine who set records in the over-75 category at the 2011 New England competition in Cambridge, Mass.

He had been diagnosed with cancer in 2009, his daughter pointed out. “He battled right through,” Shamel said.

In addition to swimming, he enjoyed hiking and mountain climbing. He climbed Mount Katahdin and hiked the rigorous Gulf Hagas.

Mr. Hazzard also enjoyed his camp on Moshier Island in Yarmouth, where he swam in Casco Bay and leaped off rocks.

He became a highly ranked runner in his age group during his 40s and 50s, competing twice in the Boston Marathon. And he played tennis at the Maine Pines club in Brunswick.

Despite the advancing stages of his disease, Mr. Hazzard competed in a New England Masters swimming event a few weeks ago.

“He would never boast about his accomplishments,” his daughter said. “He led his life with kindness and strength, always making time for anyone who needed it.”

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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