BELFAST — Roy Alan Rodgers died unexpectedly on March 31 in Belfast. Born in Waterville, on November 1, 1953, he was the fifth of six children of Richard and Rosie Deering Rodgers. He grew up in Pittsfield, graduated from Maine Central Institute in 1972, and attended the University of Maine in Orono.
In 1976, Roy married Portia Goltz. They “lived on the land,” in Monroe, Maine, where they built their home and began raising their two children, Cedar and Vanessa. Eventually Roy and Portia parted ways, and he and the children moved to Belfast seeking opportunities for his fledgling construction business and to join a larger community.
Roy founded Birdseye Builders, first partnering with Warren Greeley, and later with Warren’s son, Dan. His business built, restored and remodeled over sixty homes in Belfast and the surrounding area, while building lasting friendships and relationships along the way. With seemingly endless energy, Roy was forever in motion, possessing an exemplary work ethic and a keen aesthetic for design. He was definitely the “go-to” person for advice and support with home projects and was sensitive to the needs of his community, including selflessly assisting his many older neighbors. Though a man of few words, he spoke and acted kindly and with purpose. Roy placed character before appearances, worked earnestly, and was helpful whenever the cause was right.
Roy served the community through volunteer work as well. He was a youth mentor for the Restorative Justice Project, served on the In-town Design Review Committee for the city, and for twenty years was an invaluable member of ComeBoating! and one of that group’s two longest serving coxswains. He participated in domestic and international rowing competitions, including races in England and Bermuda.
While Roy’s work and volunteer commitments demanded much of his attention, he was completely committed to raising his daughters and making certain their lives were as comfortable and happy as possible. Roy was a wonderful dad. He was a great cook (“the best tabouli!” says his granddaughter), coached and officiated the kids’ sports events, created a warm and welcoming home for their friends and activities, and he did it all with good humor and ease. A confident and devoted parent, Roy’s love always shone.
Roy was also incredibly generous and dedicated to his large family. He had the uncanny ability to effortlessly bring people together, and he did so frequently. He was especially attentive to his mother after the death of his father, including caring for her daily in her later years. He adored his grandchildren and loved being with them. Whether swimming and boating at camp, walking to Chase’s for bakery treats, or exploring sunny California beaches and hiking coastal bluffs, their time spent together was always special. Lila and Julian loved their Gido just as much as he loved them.
Roy and the love of his life, Rafe Blood, were married in 2018. After twenty-four years of life together, their commitment to each other was apparent to all. Ballroom dancing, entertaining friends in their home, volunteering in the community, and simply spending quiet time together on Lake Quantabacook are just a few of the activities they enjoyed.
They had an amazingly adventurous spirit and enjoyed traveling the world, often to exotic and remote places, and they did so often. In addition to his travels with Rafe, Roy also visited Lebanon where his grandparents had emigrated from. His many interests were eclectic and varied. These included daily yoga practice, reading the classics and poetry (and recently writing haiku!), dancing, skating, walking with friends, woodworking, spending time in his garden and tending his beautiful flowers, enjoying art, building an ice boat, and organizing his “studio.” He hiked the Hills to Sea Trail and enjoyed adventuring in his two VW Westfalia camper-vans, east coast “Butterscotch” and west coast “Coco.” He was a reluctant member of AARP, and one of his great pleasures was time spent with his rescue dog, JJ. His children fondly and with love remember him basking in the sun on the back porch, reading the paper.
The family is heartbroken to have lost this amazing, kind, humble, resilient and dear man.
Surviving are his husband, Rafe Blood; daughter Cedar Lovell and her husband, Woody Lovell and grandchildren, Lila and Julian of Carlsbad, California; daughter Vanessa Rodgers and grandson, Joseph Rodgers of Los Angeles, California; his siblings, Carol Good, Patricia Skaling, Richard Rodgers, Robert “Buck” Rodgers, Kathryn “Kitti” Trudell and their spouses/partners; his aunt, Lorraine Deering; mother and father-in-law, Philip and Joan Bowen; many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial celebration will be announced at a future time.
If desired, memorial gifts in Roy’s memory may be made to ComeBoating! at www.comeboating.org or the Animal Welfare Society, 46 Holland Road, Kennebunk, ME 04043.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.
Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain Street, Camden.