BOOTHBAY HARBOR - Dr. Thomas L. Hilton, 89, died at his home in Boothbay Harbor, after a long illness on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013.
Dr. Hilton was a noted researcher, teacher and author in the field of educational psychology and career guidance. His books encompassed management science, quantitative analysis and data management, and career training and preparation. He spent most of his career as a Senior Research Psychologist at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, N.J., where he contributed to the early development of the Scholastic Aptitude Tests; graduate, law and business school entrance exams; and vocational testing.
Thomas L. Hilton was born in Bangor, June 7, 1924, the son of the late William and Florence (Rogers) Hilton. After graduating from Bangor High School as Valedictorian, he entered MIT. Soon thereafter, however, he joined the U.S. Army
Air Force where he served as a B29 pilot in the 5th Bombardment Squadron, 40th Bombardment Group based in the Marianas in the Pacific. When the war ended Hilton returned to MIT. He subsequently earned his Doctorate in the field of educational psychology from Harvard University
. While attending Harvard, Hilton served as Assistant Dean of Students at MIT. He started his teaching career as a Harvard instructor before accepting a position as Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) in Pittsburgh in 1956. Dr. Hilton moved to ETS in 1962 and remained there for more than 30 years. Dr. Hilton loved natural history and the outdoors. As a youth he spent many summers as a guide on Mt Katahdin and the woods surrounding Chesuncook Lake. He took great pride in the fact that his father, as Vice President and Director of Woodlands for Great Northern Paper Company, worked closely with his friend, Governor Percival P. Baxter in the creation of Baxter State Park on formerly Great Northern land. Like his father, he was a skilled cabinetmaker, and also enjoyed watercolor painting. He shared his love of Maine and knowledge of botany and horticulture as a docent at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.
He was predeceased by his loving wife, Alice (Robertson) Hilton, his grandson, James Robertson Hilton, his brother, William Rogers Hilton and his sisters, Marie Klausmeier and Jane Mealy. His cousin, Louis O. Hilton of Greenville, also predeceases him. Survivors include his three sons, Robert Robertson Hilton, and his wife, Dale, of Cleveland, Ohio; William Hilton II and his fiancée, Maria Giustizia, of Patchogue, NY; and Thomas L. Hilton Jr., and his wife, Lydia, of Springport, MI. His grandsons, Whitney Hilton and his wife, Jenny of Los Angeles, CA; and Skye Hilton and his wife, Kimberley of Brooklyn, NY, also survive him, along with his great-grandchild, Poppy Hilton of Brooklyn. Dr. Hilton's death is also mourned by 11 nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly, and close friends.
The family has requested that Memorial donations be made to the Children's Garden at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, P.O. Box 234, Boothbay, ME 04537. Arrangements are entrusted to Simmons, Harrington and Hall Boothbay. You are invited to share your condolences, memories, and photos with the family by visiting their Book of Memories page at www.hallfuneralhomes.com