Edwin R. Rolfe Jr., 84

Eddie Rolfe Jr.

Eddie Rolfe Jr.

Edwin R. “Eddie” Rolfe Jr., 84, of Harrison, considered by many residents to be a living legend, finished his earthly work on Friday, May 22, 2015.

The son of Ethel and Edwin R. “Rex” Rolfe Sr., he was born in Harrison on April 26, 1931. He led a life dedicated to his community, touching countless lives and leaving a lasting impression on future generations.

Eddie’s life was marked by an impassioned commitment to his country and neighbors. He joined the U.S. Army in 1948 at the age of 17 and, as a Private First Class, saw active service in the Korean War, assigned to the 537th Medical Service Detachment. Upon his return, he attended and graduated from Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute. Following his graduation, he married Francis Ripley Corbett and, shortly after, established Rolfe Wood Products in Harrison. This is where Eddie began to hone his renowned business ingenuity, manufacturing paint paddles, ruler blanks, and other specialty wood products. In 1969, Eddie sold the company and transitioned into logging and land development — an area that would define him the rest of his life, as well as his legacy.

Eddie’s devotion for his community was evident by his involvement in many local organizations. He was elected to the Harrison Selectmen board, serving there for many years, as well as on the Harrison Planning Board. In 1989, Eddie was instrumental in organizing Friends of the Fireman to raise money for the new fire house. He was also a member of the Harrison VFW, and the Harrison Lions Club.

Eddie was known as a no-nonsense, straight-talking businessman who was committed to a hard day’s work. Known for his uncanny knowledge of regional history, geography, and for his visionary outlook, Eddie’s mind was always filled with thoughts of the next job site. He planned and constructed many local roads and developments, including Cape Monday, Harrison Heights, Deer Hill/Hamlin Fields, Summit Hill, Bear Trap Mountain, Oak Ledge, and countless other properties. These efforts — that have provided housing for hundreds of local families — will forever bear the lasting fingerprints of Eddie Rolfe. Those who knew him said that he didn’t daydream — rather, he was building roads in his head. Eddie rarely took time off for vacations, as time spent on the bulldozer was his own personal paradise. He started Rolfe Corporation in 1994, which his son Edwin Rexford “Rex” Rolfe III took over in 2005, keeping Eddie’s legacy alive to this day.

In 1978, Eddie married Deborah Dabczynski. They had three children together. Eddie’s dedication to his work was only overshadowed by appreciation for time spent with his family and friends. Eddie rarely could be found without one of his beloved dogs riding shotgun with him in his truck. He enjoyed the companionship of his friends, along with a glass of Cutty Sark scotch or a cold beer, at the round table inside the Cracked Platter. And, Eddie may be single-handedly responsible for keeping Uncle Henry’s in business despite the decline in the print industry. He enjoyed watching baseball, but couldn’t understand why so many Red Sox players “couldn’t afford a good barber” despite their million-dollar salaries.

Eddie is survived by his four children: Brenda Hudson, Rex Rolfe III, Renata Rivard, and Joe Henry Rolfe. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Henry Hudson III, Kari-Lynn Caron, and Rosalie Rivard; and two great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Caron, and Margaret Hudson.

On Sunday, May 31, 2015, a Celebration of Life was held at the Harrison Fire Department. Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to memorialize the lasting influence that Eddie bestowed on his community. It truly was an end of an era.

Donations in memory of Eddie Rolfe may be made to: Harrison Fire Association, PO Box 911, Harrison, ME 04040.

 

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