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Gar Roper

Date of Death: March 9, 2020

Date of Birth: October 31, 1943


Gar Roper, 1943-2020

Freeport, Maine — Gar Roper, 76, died Monday, March 9, 2020 at home after four years of living with colon cancer. When Gar passed, his family was at his side, John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” was playing, and Casco Bay shimmered outside the windows of his waterfront home.

Gar leaves his wife of 53 years, Betsy (Eckert) Roper; his son, Kevin Roper, and his wife Sarah Bakutis; his daughter, Jane Roper, and her husband Alastair Moock; his sister, Susan Brastow, and his brother, Jonathan Roper; grandchildren Clio, Elm, Deklan, Indigo and Saphire; several nieces and nephews and many friends.

Born and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, the son of Charles Garland and Margaret Farquhar Roper, Gar spent a year as an AFS exchange student in Germany during high school, graduated from Lehigh University, and received his PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Gar worked as a school and family psychologist for many years before changing careers to work as a market research consultant. Gar and Betsy spent their summers in Maine as camp counselors and trip leaders, later owning and directing their own camp program, OMNI Camp in Poland Spring. They moved to Maine full time in 2002. Gar and Betsy traveled extensively, spending time in Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Italy and France, as well as South Africa, Mexico, Canada and the American West.

Gar loved writing, reading, philosophizing and folk music, puttering in his yard and workshop, and performing and directing in local theater. He was a major advocate for the Freeport arts scene and the Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment. He also supported the careers of many musicians. Raised in the United Congregational Church of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Gar and his wife became active members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, where Gar several times served as a lay preacher. He also taught classes at Midcoast Senior College in Brunswick. Gar is the author of numerous poems, plays and stories, two novels and a novella, as well as a book on early childhood development, By Leaps and Bounds, published by Henry Holt.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gar’s memory to The Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment or the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Freeport (  Arrangements are under the care of Funeral Alternatives, 46 Bath Rd. Brunswick, Me. Condolences may be expressed at

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