On the evening of Oct. 26, 2023, Buzz Ropes passed away peacefully. Buzz was born Feb. 27, 1948 in Montclair, N.J., to Bertah Whitney “Bud” and William A. Ropes II “Bill.” Shortly after, Bill introduced his wife and son to his beloved state of Maine, driving from New Jersey in a model T Ford. Buzz spent his childhood in Round Pond with his sisters, Susan and Claudia.
Buzz was a wicked smart guy, graduating from Bristol High School as the valedictorian of his class in 1966. He was a star player on the Bristol Blue Devils division championship team, known for his hook shot, which he frequently tried to teach to his daughter. He was proud of her very effective foul shot. After high school Buzz was the first of the Ropes family to attend college at the University of Maine, graduating with a business degree.
After graduating, Buzz spent the majority of his time on the water. His mentor, Cheever Prentice, instilled a passion for fishing and lobstering. He learned much from “Cheevah” while working as his sternman aboard F/V Harmony. It was this experience that shaped his future on the water.
Before launching his career as a successful commercial fisherman, Buzz joined the S/V Pandora, as a crew member. Based in the Gulf of Maine, Buzz sailed up and down the Atlantic coast, frequently stopping on leaves of recreation in the Caribbean Islands and New York City where he spent time with his future wife Karen Halsey. The two had kept in touch since first meeting each other during the summer of 1967.
In June 1980, Buzz married Karen. Together they raised two children, Whitney and Alec, on the backshore of Round Pond, not far from where Buzz grew up.
Following Buzz’s 18-year marriage, Lynn “Lynnie” Russell Kalloch and Buzz became a loving couple until his passing. They shared a home together in Round Pond along with her children, Lane and Luke.
Buzz had a very successful career as a commercial fisherman spanning over 37 years and three boats: F/V Karen R., F/V Great Spirit, and F/V Harmony. His son Alec spent many summers as a sternman on the F/V Great Spirit and F/V Harmony. Alec will never forget his initial experience as a sternman, saying “the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a kid!”
Buzz will be remembered for his unparalleled humor, skillful storytelling, generosity, and kindness. Buzz is survived by his daughter, Whitney Fitzpatrick and her husband, Tim, and his grandchildren, Braden and Margot, of Hampton, N.H.; his son, Alec Ropes and his partner, Dr. Erika Felix, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; his sister, Susan Ropes and her partner, Mark Hanley, of New Harbor; his niece, Kendra Palmer Houston and her husband, Dave, of Dover, N.H.; his former wife, Karen N. Halsey Ropes, of Wells; and his partner, Lynn Russell Kalloch, of Round Pond.
In lieu of flowers, the family recommends making a donation to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. His ashes will be spread along his fishing grounds by friend and fishing buddy, Christopher Gifford, of New Harbor. We honor Buzz’s wishes to have no formal service.