Byron Crowe

Byron Andrew Crowe

February 24, 1932 - November 19, 2019
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Byron Andrew Crowe, 87 died peacefully in his summer home at Spruce Head on November 19, 2019. He was born in Mt.Vernon, New York and grew up in Coventry, Rhode Island. He graduated from Dean Academy, Franklin, MA in 1949. In 1952 Byron married his first love, Ruth Broome. Together they raised three beautiful children and had many great adventures on boats and motorcycles. He never missed a teaching moment with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren working with them on many projects from building wooden boats to creating the famous “Buoy Man” of Rackliff Island. Byron was lucky in life to have the love and companionship of two wonderful women. Following Ruth’s passing he met his second love, Betty Leach, spending two decades together.

During the Korean War Byron served as a Corporal in the U.S. Army stationed in France. After discharge from the army he returned to Coventry to take over the operation of his father’s lace mill, manufacturing Leavers Lace. He would go on to start up additional lace factories in Rhode Island and Maine. In the late 1950’s he designed and constructed his first rope machines with the help of his mentor and friend ‘Old Man’ Boeglin. In the 1960’s he began Crowe Rope Company in Warren, ME. Crowe Rope eventually employed five hundred employees, its fleet of trucks delivering rope across the country. At its height Crowe was the largest supplier of twisted rope to the U.S. Government.

Byron helped revolutionize the lobster industry in Maine with the introduction of the first hydraulic pot haulers and synthetic rope to lobstermen up and down the coast. The Hydro Slave pot Hauler and Hydro Slave power steering units that he designed are still in use around the world.

Byron was a true entrepreneur and inventor, and held many patents. An exceptionally creative man, he loved to design equipment and figure out ways to do things better. He was still going strong building machinery in his garage this past year. He spent the last six months of his life writing his life story. From the time he built his first wooden rowboat at the age of twelve, Byron’s favorite place on Earth was the waters and islands off the coast of Maine, especially around Clark Island where he spent his boyhood summers. He loved nothing more than dropping his anchor to spend the night near and island, getting up early in the morning to dig clams until the tide changed. He was still digging up until his eighty-fifth year. In his final days, looking out over the bay towards Clark Island brought him great peace and solace.

Byron is survived by his daughter Sharon Crowe, her husband, Philip Roy, and their children, Nathan Pease, Annie Gray (husband Peter), Jessica Roy, Melissa Roy (husband Matt), Andrew Roy (wife Fang), Nicholas Roy (wife Jessica); son Andrew Crowe, and his children Jamie Jessen (husband Alex), and Byron A.Crowe II; daughter Adreth Crowe-Rackliff (husband Craig) and their children Logan Rackliff (wife Hannah), and Alexandra Zable (husband Luke). Great grandchildren: Spencer Richard and Nevaeh Pease, London and Lily Gray, Emma and Claire Jessen, Tess Rackliff, Collin and Finley Zable.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland, where a funeral service will be held at 11:00 am. Pastor Chris Emery will officiate. A reception will follow at the funeral home’s 104 Limerock reception center.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Byron’s memory to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Clark Island Project, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 201, Topsham, Maine 04086.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday November 26, 2019 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Tuesday November 26, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
    Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home
    110 Limerock Street
    Rockland, Maine 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Visiting one hour prior to the eleven o'clock service
  • Memorial Service

    Tuesday November 26, 2019 | 11:00am
    Tuesday November 26, 2019 11:00am
    Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home
    110 Limerock Street
    Rockland, Maine 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Chris Emery
  • Reception

    Tuesday November 26, 2019 | 12:00pm - 2:00pm
    Tuesday November 26, 2019 12:00pm - 2:00pm
    104 Limerock Reception Center
    104 Limerock Street
    Rockland, ME 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Tom Albury

Posted at 02:19pm
Byron hired me to run his print shop in the chicken coop on Rt. 131. It turned out to be quite an adventure in learning. He taught me many things about running a business that enabled me to eventually start my own. Byron would make an effort to come visit us every summer. We will miss those visits very much.
Tom Albury

Lisa dailey

Posted at 12:48pm
My Condolences to Byrons family.
I am bereft that I saw this too late.
My Dad, John Dailey, Worked for Byron, My Dad had much respect for Byron.
I wear my Dads Crow Rope Hoodie, Many have commented on it from yards away, As my Dad died Oct 27 2015.
He would have wanted me to say thank you to Byron for his generosity.

Megan McPherson

Posted at 09:08pm
One of my favorite memories of Byron was when a college friend and I visited him and my aunt in Florida, each night after dinner he would play music and we would dance. He told us the importance of time together. Night Byron, we miss you, kisses ♥️

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 07:37pm
I'm full of gratitude. Thank you for everything. My condolences go to the whole family.
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Julie Peterson

Posted at 11:22am
Byron was definately one-of-a-kind. I've never known anyone with as much passion, knowledge or persistence. From the day I stepped foot into Crowe Rope Company, he had something to teach or show me, and this went beyond work knowledge into everyday life knowledge. There are too many awesome memories to share just one. Just a month ago, he was still giving me advice - advice to live by. He will be deeply missed - my thoughts are with Betty and his family.

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