×

Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home

199 Woodford Street, Portland, ME

OBITUARY

Eve Moertl Bither

January 18, 1931September 30, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Eve M Bither passed away peacefully on Monday September 30, 2019. A German native of Czechoslovakia, Eve’s life-long passion was learning and education. She attended the University of Frankfurt in Germany before crossing the ocean to study chemistry and physics as a Fulbright Scholar at Smith College in Massachusetts in 1951. There she met her husband Henry, with whom she moved to Maine to establish his veterinary practice. Henry predeceased her in 1996.

Raising four children occupied much of her time for the next 15 years. During those years she was also president of the Junior League, was elected the first woman director of a bank in Maine (Casco Bank and Trust), was an active volunteer at Maine Medical Center, the Smith Club, the United Way and the Portland Symphony.

Resuming her quest for education after her children were in school, Eve attended the University of Southern Maine from which she received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1969 and a master’s degree in secondary science education in 1971. She did postgraduate work in educational administration at USM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Lowell Polytechnic Institute and then completed work for a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Planning, Policy, and Administration at Boston University. Eve was appointed Commissioner of Education for the State of Maine in 1987 by Governor John McKernan, Jr. As Commissioner, she was on the Board of Trustees for USM and the Maine Technical College Systems. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, she served as superintendent in Freeport, assistant superintendent of Portland Public Schools, assistant principal at both Portland High and Jack Junior High, a physics teacher at Deering High and an earth science teacher at Lincoln Junior High. In 1991, Eve was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as acting director of the Office of Reform Assistance and Dissemination within the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, which served as a bridge between the research community and practitioners in the schools and school systems of the US. In 1996, she was appointed by President Clinton as Executive Director of the National Educational Research Policy and Priorities Board. She loved her work and time in Washington DC, as did everyone who visited her there.

Eve retired in 2000 and returned to family, friends and the family home in Westbrook, Maine. She is survived by her sister Katharina Varney of San Diego California; her children (two science teachers, a physician and a hydrogeologist) Michael, Kathy, Gregory, Ruth and their families; including six grandchildren (Kris, Ruth, Jessica, Matthew, Laura and Nicholas), and four great grandchildren (Gavin, Garrett, Lily and Keegan), all of whom she adored, most of the time.

Relatives and Friends are invited to attend visiting hours for Eve on Thursday, October 10th, 2019, from 4-7 p.m., at Jones Rich and Barnes Funeral Home 199 Woodford Street, Portland ME, 04103. A funeral service will be held on Friday, October 11th, 2019, at 12 p.m., at Jones Rich and Barnes Funeral Home. A committal service will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, 207 Rochester Street, Westbrook, ME 04092.

  • FAMILY

  • Joseph Moertl, Father
  • Rose Pfeiffer, Mother
  • Henry Dean Bither, Husband (deceased)
  • Katharina Varney, Sister
  • Michael Bither, Son
  • Katherine Bither, Daughter
  • Gregory Bither, Son
  • Ruth Broene, Daughter
  • Eve is also survived by six grandchildren (Kris, Ruth, Jessica, Matthew, Laura and Nicholas), and four great grandchildren (Gavin, Garrett, Lily and Keegan)

Services

  • Visiting Hours Thursday, October 10, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, October 11, 2019

Memories

Eve Moertl Bither

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Dan Beale

October 12, 2019

To the Bither Family, with deepest sympathies. I had the honor of having your Mother as my physics teacher at DHS...an amazing lady and educator....with a great sense of humor thrown in too. In reading of her life, what an amazing career. Again with deepest sympathies to the family.

Peter Greer

October 2, 2019

As Portland’s Assistant Superintendent of Schools Eve excelled and made a difference in students’ academics. Eve was extremely and unpretentiously smart. She was pure fun and clever in persuasion. Classy and caring. A brilliant physics teacher. A beloved companion of teachers and administrators. It was no surprise to anyone when she was selected as Maine’s Commissioner of Education and succeeded at that post and then went to government work in science in Washington, DC, and succeeded there. Eve was an unforgettable woman. Peter R. Greer

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Eve, Peter and Kay

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve in Germany

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Michael

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Eve, Peter and Kay

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve in Germany

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Henry

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Michael

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve and Michael

FROM THE FAMILY

Eve Henry and Michael