Obituary: Robert Joseph Hight Ph.D.

Robert Joseph Hight Ph.D.

PORTLAND — Robert Joseph Hight, Ph.D., died Jan. 9, 2023 at the age of 89.

Robert was born in Portland on May 16, 1933 to Harold and Ruby Hight and graduated from Portland High School. He was a member of the New England Swim Team in 1951 and was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

During the Korean War he served in the United States Marine Corp. After completing his service, he enrolled at the former Gorham State Teachers College. He then went to Syracuse University, where he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in special education. There he received two grants from the United States Office of Education for special education.

He has dedicated his life to special education and has served as Associate Director of Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, Director of Education at Pineland Hospital, Director of Special Education and Health Services at South Portland for 10 years, and Director of Special Services at SAU in New Hampshire for 10 years years. He was also an adjunct professor of special education at the University of Southern Maine, the University of New Hampshire and Vermont. He has served as an advisor to departments of education in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Arizona.

He loved going to the sea, enjoyed classical music and was a history buff. He had a great sense of humor and was known for his beautiful smile and endless patience.

He was deceased by his parents; Brothers Harold and Arthur, sisters Helen and Barbara.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn of 68 years; son, Gregory and wife Diane of Rosville, Tennessee, Christopher and his wife Karen of New Castle, daughters Kathleen and husband Michael Minervini of Kennebunk, Heidi and Robert Trujillo of Goodyear, Arizona and Julie and her husband Peter Sullivan of Portland, his brother, Michael and wife Connie of Portland, sisters-in-law Maxine Hight and Anna Hight of Portland; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; a great-great grandson; and several nieces and nephews.

Robert spent the last six months of his life at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. The family will forever be grateful for the loving care and devotion he received from the angels in Unit A.

Visitation on Wednesday, January 18 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a service immediately following at the Jones, Rich and Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St. Portland. A private funeral will be held at Brooklawn Memorial Park at a later date.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy can be shared for the Hight family at

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