VIENNA -- Edward Charles Hinckley, 77, of Vienna, who was born on Dec. 16, 1934, in Bridgewater, Mass., passed away on Nov. 12, 2012, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. Edward graduated from Noble & Greenough School; from Harvard University he earned a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology (1955) and, after service in the Army, an M.A.T.
In February 1959, he married Priscilla Salisbury of Coventry, R.I.
After two years teaching for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (Utah and Arizona) and four years as an education specialist for the U.S. Public Health Service, Division of Indian Health (Arizona and Nevada) he became Maine's first commissioner of Indian affairs, and in 2001 was recognized by the Maine Legislature for "helping the tribes to gain funding to fight malnutrition, increase educational opportunities and to provide better housing."
From 1971 on, Edward worked first as an educational planner in the Department of Education, later as director, and then field operations manager for the Office of Children's Services in the Maine Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. He co-founded the Maine Association for Infant Mental Health and edited its newsletter for 25 years. Establishing an award named for him, MeAIMH said, "Edward has been a pioneer, leader, and catalyst in innovation and collaboration on behalf of children and their families at risk."
Retiring in 1991, he remained active with MeAIMH and with the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance. He wrote three books (privately published): "Kuenzlis in the Klondike" (his grandfather and two great-uncles took part in the gold rush of 1898); "Bridge Across Time: Personal Glimpses of Dine-Bilagaana Education 1959-61"; and "A Unique Moment in Time: Letters Home from Maine's first Commissioner of Indian Affairs."
He is survived by his wife, Priscilla; his sisters, Marjorie M. Kelly, of Hilo, Hawaii, and Lois McCarthy, of Vienna; his son, Kee, of Somerville, Mass.; and two granddaughters, Shireen Hinckley and Shadi Fotouhi, both college students.
A memorial service is planned for Dec. 1, 2012; for location and time, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the American Indian College Fund, 8333 Greenwood Blvd., Denver, CO 80221; www.collegefund.org.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dan & Scott's Cremation and Funeral Service, 488 Farmington Falls Road., Farmington.