Rolf Hoiden Bremer
August 24, 1930 — May 2, 2020 – Rolf H. Bremer, 89, of Brookline, NH, a long-time area business owner and volunteer, and a man who loved being at sea, crossed the bar on May 2, 2020. Rolf was known for his outgoing personality, sense of humor, patriotism and politics, work-ethic, love of family, and for founding and leading his Milford-based, family-run retail and wholesale seafood company.
Rolf was predeceased by his beloved wife, Kathleen, and his younger brother and only sibling, Lars.
He is survived by his sons, John Bremer and Rolf Bremer of New Hampshire; Glenn Bremer and his partner Sherry Rega of Maine; his daughters, Kari Bremer of New Hampshire, Kristine Bremer, and her husband Thomas Kirk, of Texas; daughter-in-law Jennifer Badger of New Hampshire; granddaughters Kathleen, Randi, India and Savannah; step-grandsons Talmage and Travis; cousins Barbara Brewer, Rockport, MA, Solveigh Harrison, British Columbia, Canada, Margarete Banner, Pelham, New York, Per Bremer Øvrebø and Geir Bremer Øvrebø of Oslo, Norway; his extended family, and many very dear friends in New England and across the U.S.
Rolf was born in the Great Depression in the annex of the former St. Margaret’s Hospital in Dorchester, MA, to Norwegian immigrants, Randi Hoiden and Bjarne Bremer Øvrebø. His formative years were spent in Boston’s West End. He attended Boston Latin School, graduated at 17, and then Boston University, where he majored in marketing. Upon graduation from BU Rolf joined the U.S. Navy, attended officer candidate school, was commissioned and served as Gunnery Officer on the USS Heermann, a Fletcher-class destroyer. While on the ship he was involved in many military maneuvers in the Atlantic and Pacific during and after the Korean War period; he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and took the Heermann on its famous “world cruise” which embarked from Newport, RI, and circumnavigated the globe.
His business career included sales management in the U.S. Midwest for the former CBS picture tubes division as well as real estate development for the former Grand Union Supermarkets. He served as First Mate on the renowned M/V Salvage Chief under Capt. Reino Mattilla, handling many ship rescue missions along the Pacific Coast, and was First Mate on a merchant vessel which brought supplies from California to Vietnam during reconstruction. Rolf fished in Alaska and on the Columbia River; he built fishing boats. He started up a seafood wholesale business in Astoria, OR, with his wife, and in the 1970’s developed a successful seafood company which became the Milford, Peterborough and Nashua Fish Markets and wholesale division.
Rolf was a delegate for U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 Presidential Election. Along with his wife, he helped establish the Brookline NH Democrats, and hosted many candidate events in their Brookline home. He was a founding member of the Hollis-Brookline Rotary Club; a lifetime member of Sons of Norway, BPOE, VFW and the Democratic Party; and an active alumnus of BU and Boston Latin School. Rolf was also an all-around sports enthusiast and golfer, and he loved music, dancing and traveling.
A celebration of Rolf’s life and military honors are to be arranged later this year. Gifts in memory can be given to the Hollis-Brookline Rotary Scholarship Fund, Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley or Columbia River Maritime Museum. The family thanks the many wonderful caregivers who helped Rolf during his long illness.
Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm Street, Milford, NH. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to www.smith-heald.com