NORTHPORT — Howard Pierce Sawyer III of Shore Road, Northport, has died. Known throughout the Belfast community as Buck, he was diagnosed with cancer in late November and passed away on Dec. 28, 2022. His was a vivid personality, expressed through his talents as a musician, writer, metaphysician, designer of residential interiors and gardens, and most particularly as a friend.

Buck was the sole proprietor of Moonharbor Realty and covered the Maine coast from Portland to Acadia. He was known for doing business in his own special way. Clients could expect him to provide excellent professional real estate services, but also to fix a furnace, redesign a floor plan, and bring a shovel to the septic inspection.

He grew up in Portland and on a farm near Sebago Lake in a family of nine, headed by his namesake, Dr. Howard Sawyer, and his mother, Anne Vernon Sawyer. He was a member of the Yale University class of 1970, where he majored in physics and played guitar with his classmates in the rock band  Plastic Visitation. His vocals on the Doors classic, “Light My Fire,” remain a legend in New Haven.

He was a founding member of the 1960s counter-culture, and liked to describe himself as a “flower child gone to seed.” He established the first natural food restaurant in Boston, the “Root One Cafe,” located near the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street, and run by a commune of volunteers. He attended Woodstock, and, during the Summer of Love, had an apartment in Haight-Ashbury.

Buck maintained the high standards of the organic movement all his life, adding Brewer’s yeast to his breakfast porridge, gathering seaweed for his gardens, and serving on the board of the Belfast Co-op.

He acted on his convictions about social justice by volunteering at the former Maine Youth Center, developing a music program for Youthlinks in Rockland, mentoring in the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center program in Belfast, and bringing music instruction to correctional facilities in Massachusetts.

Nothing mattered more to him than his family: his wife, sons, stepdaughter, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, and their families. Wife-of-40-years Marsea (Buck came up with that spelling); former wife Christine West; sons Zen Sawyer, Dharma Sawyer, and Thomas Bennett; stepdaughter Meg Bertoni; grandsons Sage, Robin, Peregrin and Theodore Sawyer; granddaughter Laura Bennett; brother Peter; sisters Eve, Rebecca, Mary, Susan and Lydia; daughters-in-law Shawnee, Mary and Christina; brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews; all have had their lives shaped in wonderful ways by his presence, and have promised to honor him by living fully and well.

They are planning a celebration of Buck’s life to be held next summer, featuring music that he composed and recorded, including his beautiful memorial song, “Eternal Dawn.” He faced the end of his life with grace and courage, intrigued about experiencing the next plane of existence. He was a thoroughly good man and an inspiringly bright soul. Requiescet in pace.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at ripostafh.com.

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