BELFAST — William “Bill” Dopheide, 93, died Oct. 8, 2021, at his home after a period of decline with his loving wife, Jane, by his side.

Bill grew up in the Edison Park neighborhood of Chicago with his brother, Richard, his parents and grandparents and other relatives nearby. He and his brother enjoyed playing with friends in vacant lots until called home when the streetlights went out. They also spent many hours with an electric freight train and track their father assembled — beginning Bill’s lifelong interest in trains.

Another interest for much of his life was music. Fifth grade trombone lessons led to many hours playing in a dance band in high school and later in the Army Band Corps.

His early academic interest was journalism. At an early age, he and a friend wrote and delivered a neighborhood newsletter highlighting local happenings.  He later wrote for school newsletters. After high school, not having the extraordinary farming skills of his brother, Richard, Bill worked in a pinball factory and on a train from Chicago to Portland, Ore., as a dishwasher. These jobs convinced him that he did, indeed, want a college education.

Bill enlisted in the Army at 19 and earned a slot in the Army Band Corps playing the trombone.  He was immediately sent to Japan after basic training, playing for military functions and concerts.

Bill was the first member of his family to go to college, thanks to the G.I. Bill. He graduated from Western Michigan College in Kalamazoo with a major in “speech correction.” Bill met and married Mary Lou Symons (1952) while attending college. He earned his master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology at Pennsylvania State University (1952). In 1956 Bill was a speech therapist in a local high school in Buffalo, N.Y.

The family returned to Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1957, where Bill taught at Western Michigan University  and was a valued member of the Department of Speech Correction for 10 years. The family then moved to East Lansing, Mich., so that Bill could earn his doctorate at Michigan State University in 1968. His specialties were stuttering and aphasia.

Bill and his wife, Marjorie, and three children, Kate, Mark and Marcia, moved to Orono in 1968, where Bill started the Speech and Hearing Program at the University of Maine. He and colleagues continued to build the program over the next 25 years. He was active in state and national organizations throughout his career, becoming a fellow in the American Speech and Hearing Association in 1979.  He retired from the university in 1993 as professor emeritus. He has enjoyed continuing friendships with a number of former students and staff.

Bill married Jane Dellinger in 1975 and they lived in Winterport for 29 years, where they raised their daughter, Annamarie. During those years, Bill was active in the Monroe Lions Club, helping to organize the “Marsh Stream Stampede” road race on Memorial Day for several years.  He also enjoyed the camaraderie of weekly very low stakes poker games with neighborhood friends for over 20 years.

In 2008 Bill and Jane moved to Belfast. During their 46 years of marriage, they enjoyed many family gatherings at Kezar Lake in Lovell, and in San Francisco and Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. Recreation included model train building, skiing, camping adventures, gardening and travels.  Over the last 25 years, they have both been active members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, with Bill working passionately for social justice issues.

His first wife, Marjorie, his brother, Richard, and grandson Bruce predeceased Bill.  He is survived by his wife, Jane; daughters Kate Dopheide and husband Steve of Portland, Ore.; Marcia Clark and husband Tim Clark of Holden; Annamarie Dopheide and husband Sean Lavery of Los Angeles; and son Mark Dopheide and wife Lisa Buckley of Portland, Ore.;  three grandchildren, TJ Clark, Bryan Clark and Jack Lavery; and three great-grandchildren, Miles Clark, Drake Clark and Mya Clark; as well as nieces Gayle Urbanik and Kelly Dopheide of Kalamazoo, Mich., and nephews Grant Dopheide of Hanover, Md., and Chris Dopheide of Lawton, Mich.

A celebration of life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Restorative Justice Project of Eastern Maine or Alzheimer’s research.  Memories and condolences may be shared at

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