Robert “Bob” Witherill

BELFAST – Robert “Bob” Witherill died on Oct. 31, 2019 in Belfast. He was born on March 22, 1925 in Waterville. He attended Colby College, the Navy V-12 program at Bates, then Columbia midshipman school and served as an Ensign in the Navy in WWII in the Pacific. Returning home in 1946, he graduated from Colby in 1947 and later earned two masters degrees from University of Maine.

In 1947, Bob met Jean Thompson of Bedford, Mass. in the summer community of Bayside in Northport and they married on Dec. 26, 1950. It was also at Bayside that he developed a love of sailing and boating of all types. He was a charter member of the Northport Yacht Club (at age 14!), and in 1953 served as Commodore.

For most of his life Bob was a college professor of business and economics. He taught at New England College in Henniker, N.H., Nasson College in Springvale, and the University of Southern Maine in Portland and Gorham. He served as Boy Scout Committee Chairman in Sanford and was a Mason in Springvale Lodge No. 190. While in Springvale he and Jean raised two sons.

Cruises with family aboard his sailboat were highlights in the ’70s. In 1983, he retired from teaching and moved to Northport. He established Penobscot Compass Service, and adjusted compasses on vessels all over Penobscot Bay. In 1998, he directed “Steamboat Fever” in, a historical review of the steamboats that called at Northport and other Penobscot Bay ports. This was followed by publication in 2015 of Steamboat Memories. Bob and Jean moved to Penobscot Shores in Belfast in 2005 and have enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship that it offers, including the opportunity for Bob to share his love of a good joke.

Throughout the years, Bob’s greatest joy was spending time with family.

Bob is survived by Jean, his loving wife of 69 years; sister, Eleanor Holiday of Sun City, Ariz.; son, David and wife, Gail of Cumberland, and son, Donald and wife, Donna of Readfield; as well as four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life service will be held at Penobscot Shores in Belfast on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. (casual attire).

Memories may be shared at

Donations in his memory may be made to the

Northport Yacht Club Sailing School

P.O. Box 957

Belfast, ME 04915 or

Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County


P.O. Box 772

Belfast, ME 04915

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