Rober Werner Roffler, 88: Active in civic life

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NORTH YARMOUTH — Robert Werner Roffler, 88, of North Yarmouth, died May 26, with his wife of 35 years by his side, after a courageous battle with bladder cancer.

Roffler was born in Hartford, Conn., on June 18, 1924, to Werner Roffler and Minnie Winar Roffler. He attended Hartford schools, graduating from William H. Hall High School.

With many of his classmates, Roffler enlisted in the armed forces right after graduation, transported by school bus with a rousing community send off. He was assigned to the U.S. Army 295th Engineer Battalion, part of the 1115 Engineer Combat Group. They landed on Omaha Beach on his 20th birthday. Supporting the 29th Infantry Division, the 295th battalion helped to liberate Saint Lô, the first French town to be liberated by Allied Forces and went on to the Elbe River. Returning after the war, Roffler, like many World War II veterans, attended college under the GI Bill, graduating from Babson College in 1953.

He moved to Kennebunkport in the late 1950s with his young family. He was employed as a pharmaceutical sales representative for most of his working career, but he also worked part time in areas of special interest to him. He opened Seacliff Galleries in Kennebunkport, selling mostly work by local artists; put on lobster bakes for companies such as Hussey Seating and an end-of-season bake for the casts of the Kennebunkport Playhouse; shipped lobsters throughout the U.S. through S.S. Pierce; and worked for the York County Coast Star newspaper.

In 1978, Roffler married Carolyn Frary and they opened the Cheshire Cheese, a wine and gourmet store in the Old Port in Portland. In 1982 he was instrumental in the creation of the Waterfront Preservation Association formed with the idea of keeping it a working waterfront with fishermen and related businesses, to counter the city’s plan to develop condominiums, retail shops, office buildings and parking garages on the waterfront. He was an active and vocal participant in the civic life wherever he lived and an avid writer of letters to the editor, most notably to the Portland Press Herald.

 He enjoyed playing several sports, including baseball, golf and especially tennis.

Roffler is survived by his wife, Carolyn Frary Roffler; his two daughters, Dana Roffler, and Kymeth Eren Roffler Doyle; and one granddaughter, Clancy Rose Doyle.

At his request there will be no services.