Richard Warren Thorpe

July 25, 1933September 17, 2020

Richard “Rick” Warren Thorpe was born on July 25, 1933 in Boston, Massachusetts and passed away peacefully on September 17, 2020 at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland. Rick grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts and spent his first summer on Squirrel Island, followed by subsequent summers at Harborfields, the Thorpe family property in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. It was during these summers that he developed his love of boats.

Setting sail on this course, Rick attended the Webb Institute, a college of naval architecture and marine engineering. He graduated in 1955 and embarked on what would become a lifelong career in the maritime industry. While pursuing higher education, he earned a nuclear engineering degree from the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Rick spent his robust career contributing to an array of shipyards and marine consulting groups. In addition to Bethlehem Steel’s Quincy Shipyard and Maine South Portland Engineering Co., a significant portion of his career as a shipbuilding executive was at Bath Iron Works, a renowned shipyard in Bath, Maine. There, his marine marketing efforts spanned U.S. Navy and commercial shipbuilding contracts for over 15 years.

Navigating onward, Rick then proceeded to serve as vice president of John J. McMullen Associates in Arlington, Virginia, where he stood at the helm of the company’s corporate planning and government affairs. He also served as the vice president for export activities and technical research for the Shipbuilder’s Council of America, followed by a principal consultancy with Kvaerner Masa Marine Inc. and a senior principal position at Herbert Engineering Corp.

Rick received the 2000 Selkirk Owen Award from Webb Institute in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the marine industry as well as his significant donations to his alma mater, including the Thorpe Athletic Field, named in honor of his father.

He was a valued member of the Webb Institute’s Industry Advisory Group, the American Society of Naval Engineers, and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, where he served on a fleet of committees.

Rick spent the latter four decades of his life anchored in Maryland, the final 22 of which on Mill Creek in the Providence neighborhood of Annapolis with his wife, Patricia Barry Thorpe. He owned many boats over his lifetime, notably the 46-foot sailboat Patrician2 and the antique lobster boat Kadetta III.

Rick cruised through his summers on the coast of Maine, savoring the waterfront, boating, and connecting with his multi-generational family property. In the winters, he was an avid cross-country and alpine skier. A hearty New Englander and staunch advocate for wildlife, he established the Thorpe Family Preserve, which includes a public hiking trail and boat ramp in West Boothbay Harbor.

Rick is survived by his wife Patricia; his son Nick; his daughter Wendy, her husband Tim, and their son Bennett; and his stepchildren and step-grandchildren. He is remembered by all for his love of family, his laughter, and his welcoming, generous spirit.

Throughout his vigorous career, Rick maintained his love for sailing and salt water, be it on the coast of Maine, the Chesapeake Bay, or countless voyages afar. Even more, Rick was devoted to Harborfields, the Thorpe property in West Boothbay. He leaves his survivors a treasure, a challenge, and a legacy.

Rick lives on in the words of poet John Masefield’s “Sea Fever.”

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

In lieu of flowers, please send your donations in Rick’s name to the Boothbay Region Land Trust at


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Richard Warren Thorpe

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linnell Bowen

September 29, 2020

Patricia and all,
So sorry and sincere condolences.
Remembering what a cool couple you two made from the beginning!
Happy Years and Memories.

Beverley Martin

September 26, 2020

Dear Pat,

May your special memories warm your heart as you grieve the loss of your dear Richard. When I think of him, I recall the evening aboard "Patrician" in Queenstown a decade or more ago...(when you served yummy lasagna). What a kind gentleman he was.
May this first most difficult year be kind to you.

Beverley Martin

Howard Hoover

September 25, 2020

I am so sorry for Rick's passing. Rick was a much loved member of the Providence Community. I used to joke with Rick about how much he looked like the actor Peter Ustinov. You are a wonderful man Rick. Thanks for being my neighbor.

Michael DeSisto

September 22, 2020

As a fellow yachtsman from Maine I looked forward to seeing Rick each summer. He was always a good and decent person to me, for which I will always be grateful. We enjoyed sharing sailing stories and our love of boating and Maine. I will no doubt be looking for him once again next season. Sincere sympathy to Patricia, Wendy, Tim, and Bennett during this time of loss.

Benjamin Balbir

September 22, 2020

Rick, as I will always remember him: ultimate professional, a bit sarcastic, but with the splash of humor and straight to the point with no excuses. He was welcoming, and kind person with a positive outlook on life and a fundamental faith in humanity. He could always put you at ease with his stories about sailing and meeting people that we all knew, but never met in person. Some I had heard more than a dozen times, but never got tired of hearing. Rick was a friend and mentor to me and to many, many others. Rest in peace Rick. We will always remember you. Our sincere condolences to Patricia and family. Ben and Irene Balbir.

Igor Mizine

September 21, 2020

Dear Rick was my colleague first and and very soon a friend since 1998. I enjoyed all moments when we talked about everything, starting from people around, naval architecture and ending in sense of life, We with my wife Marina traveled together with our dear Patricia to Italy, they took us regularly to the short Chesapeake sail tours on board of his lovely yacht. I keep in my heart many memories about visiting him in Maine and his favorite lobster boat. Nevertheless that we worked together only about 4 years, we were close till now.
Rick was so important person for both to me and my wife. He was intelligent, knowledgeable, extraordinary naval professional, with lot of divested interests in history, politics, culture. For me he was the best possible mentor in my american life.
Miss you so much, Rick
God bless you and you are on Heavens


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