John R. Rousselle ’86

John Robert Rousselle, of Gray, passed away May 13, 2020 at Maine Medical Center, following a brief illness.

He was born on May 1, 1964, in Biddeford, the son of Jean-Paul “Rusty” Rousselle and Madeleine (Landry) Rousselle. John grew up in Biddeford and graduated from Biddeford High School in 1982.

John spent the majority of his life in or around ships. A 1986 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, he worked as a merchant marine until his retirement from “shipping” in 2009. He then worked for Bath Iron Works, GE, and most recently for Philadelphia Gear. Even though he was officially retired from the merchant marines, John maintained his chief engineer’s license and would assist with the sea trials of the ships he was building at BIW. John joined the merchant marines because he wanted to see the world, and see the world he did. He traveled to all corners of the globe during his time working on ships, and often brought back a souvenir collectible spoon from his many travels.

The biggest joys of John’s life were his children, who he was immensely proud of, as well as his “granddog,” Ruby.

He is predeceased by his parents; and grandparents.

John is survived by a daughter, Christine Rousselle, of Arlington, Va.; son John “Jack” Rousselle of Kittery; a sister, Ann and her husband Nelson Smith, of South Thomaston; his former wife and friend, Ann Marie Rousselle of Scarborough; his puppy, Ruby; as well as many cousins and friends. He will be especially missed by his beloved “Wolfpack”.

John was known for his giving nature and perpetual willingness to lend a hand for any sort of task. As a final act of generosity, John’s organs were donated and transplanted to three people in need.

Burial will be private. A memorial Mass and a celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date once it is safe for everyone to gather. Arrangements are by Hope Memorial Chapel. To share condolences online, please visit