OBIT: Henry “Herb” Applin, 86, Member of Bluegrass Hall of Fame

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Henry “Herb” Applin

Henry Herbert (“Herb”) Applin, 86, passed away peacefully on June 29th, 2024 at Sunny Acres Nursing and Rehab in Chelmsford, MA with his family by his side. Herb was born on April 10, 1938 in Boston to Herb and Hilda Applin of Watertown, MA. Herb graduated from Watertown High School, Class of 1956, and went on to earn his BA in Business at the University of Maine at Orono in 1960. He obtained a Certificate in Accounting from Bentley College and his MBA from Babson College in May of 1973. He was a member of the Massachusetts National Guard, serving for six years.

Herb was known for his love of Bluegrass Music and was an outstanding member of many bands, including Berkshire Mountain Boys, Old Time Bluegrass Singers, and was a participating musician in the New England Bluegrass movement. Herb’s passion for music started with classical violin lessons but quickly evolved into his much-loved Bluegrass fiddle, guitar and mandolin. He was a member of The New England Bluegrass Boys when they recorded their first album in 1971, “One Morning In May,” with Rounder Records. Herb enjoyed years of performing side-by-side with his long-time band member and close friend, Joe Val, and some of the “greats” that included Bill Monroe, Don Stover, The Lilly Brothers, Del McCoury and many more.

Herb participated in the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Project which documented the history of Bluegrass Music and life stories of many musicians known as “Bluegrass Music’s First Generation.” His interview by Dick Bowden, a close friend and band member, on October 13, 2007 is linked below. Herb was named a Pioneer in the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky in 2008. (See more at

Herb loved hiking in the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire and was an avid tennis player in his earlier years. He enjoyed many years with family and friends at the family’s summer home on beloved Keoka Lake in Waterford, ME. Herb had a great love of animals, especially cats and the many backyard “pets” that he loved to feed and visit.

Herb is survived by his wife of 60 years, Margaret Scott Applin of Pepperell, MA, daughters Margaret H. Applin of Little River, SC, Susan F. Hipsky and David B. Hipsky of Blue Hill, ME, and Sarah L. Devarenne of Billerica, MA, grandchildren, Melanie Hipsky, Erika Hipsky, Andy Hipsky, Noelle Devarenne, Bobby Devarenne, sister, Carol Waldeier, of Waterford, ME, sister-in-law Brenda Applin of Wakefield, MA and sister-in law Robin Wheeler of Orono, ME and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, August 14th at 11:00 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, ME. Condolences can be made online at McGaffigan Family Funeral Home in Pepperell, MA. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Herb’s memory can be made to: The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum ( or to Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( Please see

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