Robert Joseph McIntyre was born on April 17, 1941, in Oak Park, Illinois, and died Jan. 4, 2023, in Harpswell.
He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grinnell College, a Master of Arts degree from Cornell University, and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina. As an academic, he specialized in labor economics, with an area focus on Central and Eastern Europe. He first taught economics at the University of Pennsylvania, then moved to Maine to take a post at Bowdoin College. He later taught at Dartmouth College, Bates College, Portland State University and Smith College, then returned to Bowdoin.
Robert’s work on the economics of system transition in the former Soviet Union led to a year as a Fulbright senior exchange scholar at the Moscow Higher School of Economics. He continued his work on post-Soviet transition economies as a senior researcher at the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research in Helsinki, Finland, and as a senior policy advisor for the United Nations Development Programme in Bratislava, Slovakia. From 2009 to 2018, he taught an annual intensive course on development economics in the Master’s Programme on Peace, Conflict and Development at the Universitat Jaume I, in Castellon, Spain.
After returning to Harpswell in the fall of 2004, he became active in local affairs, joining the Friends of the West Harpswell School and later becoming a founding donor to the Harpswell Coastal Academy.
He was best known in Harpswell for his work with a project to locate and identify, care for, and propagate old variety Maine apple trees. Robert contributed several unique Harpswell varieties to the Maine Heritage Orchard at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association campus in Unity. With support from the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, Robert organized local informational events and heritage variety apple tastings and planted heritage orchards at the Mitchell Field Community Garden and the Curtis Farm Preserve. His nonprofit Harpswell Heritage Apples offered free tree care advice and placed many heritage saplings with residents of Harpswell and Brunswick. His dedication and enthusiasm will be missed.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Rosenberg; his daughters, Gretchen McIntyre and Bates Larson; his sister, Carol Toschik; his nieces, Jennifer Billington and Pam Toschik; and his former wife, Marilyn McIntyre.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Maine Heritage Orchard: mofga.org/maineheritageorchard.