Spencer Apollonio ’55 died on March 8, 2022, in Boothbay Harbor, Maine
(The following was provided by the Boothbay Register on March 14, 2022)
Spencer Apollonio passed away unexpectedly on March 8, 2022, at his Boothbay Harbor home at age 88. He was born in Camden, Maine, to parents Dr. Howard L. and Helen T. (Martin) Apollonio.
He lived a full life pursuing and encouraging marine research, Arctic exploration, and sailing his traditional wooden sloop on the coast of Maine. His stories ranged from a bump under his canvas kayak by an unknown mammal in the Arctic Ocean while collecting water samples, to his snowmobile falling through the ice, recovered by his local Inuit guide and successfully driven back to camp.
Spencer is survived by his wife, Annemarie, sons Tom and Taylor, granddaughters Katelyn, Megan and Stella, brothers Howard and Nick and their families. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Carl.
A marine biologist and Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA), Spencer made fourteen trips to the Arctic. In the 1960s he established AINA’s Devon Island Research Station. His research was some of the earliest of its kind in the Arctic, and today is receiving renewed attention. Until the day he died he was collaborating on papers with scientists at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, which he helped to establish in 1974.
Spencer served as Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), chairperson of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and executive director of the New England Regional Fisheries Management Council. He started his career researching shrimp (Pandalus borealis) and other marine life, and later focused on fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine. A graduate of Bowdoin College, he received a master’s degree from Yale University. He was an avid reader with an impressive collection of books.
He was the author of multiple books ranging from historical non-fiction to marine fisheries management, countless research papers, one novel and very special birthday cards that his three granddaughters cherish.