Robert's Story

DOVER FOXCROFT - Robert Steward Shapleigh, "Renaissance Man" as he was lovingly called, peacefully passed away on May 11, 2014 at Hibbard's Nursing home in Dover Foxcroft after a long illness. Bob was born in Manchester, New Hampshire May 17, 1928. He moved with his family from Connecticut to Dover Foxcroft, Maine in 1962. He was a multi-talented, one of a kind, gentle person. He was a veteran, serving in the Army Military Police in Panama. One of his specialties was the restoration and repair of metal antiques. He did work for the Smithsonian, Maine State Museum, Owls Head Museum, the Mystic Maritime Museum in Connecticut, and the Whistles-in-the-Woods run by Johnny Cash's banjo player Bob Johnson. Bob was a steam engine expert. He built 11 boats, 3 of which were used on Sebec Lake. This included the Rippling Wave Steamboat built in the record time of 10 months, and launched in 1976 for the Centennial celebration. Bob was also an inventor,including having invented and patented one of the first portable chainsaw sawmills. There wasn't a problem he couldn't solve. He helped to keep the Town Road Dept machinery running smoothly. If a part to a machine couldn't be purchased, he would make the part and the machine would run beautifully.He loved people and spent 10 years running various support groups in the area. And he was also a horse whisperer. He raised and trained his beloved Arab, Sahib. In addition to all of the above he loved to travel- from this country to Panama to Norway. On top of all his accomplishments Bob had an uncanny sense of humor... he would always make you laugh. He is survived by his wife Mary, his daughter Sandy and her husband David, son Steven and his wife Melissa, his brother Richard and family and many, many friends. Bob - may your spirit be filled with light and love, you will truly be missed.There will be a "Celebration of Life" at the Bear's Den in Dover Foxcroft on Saturday, May 17 from 3-5 pm. Please come and share a memory or funny story.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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