Robert Marshall Schacht, former NAU research specialist

Robert Schacht

Robert Marshall Schacht, a former adjunct professor of anthropology and longtime research specialist for NAU’s Institute for Human Development, died in Flagstaff Dec. 30, 2012. He was 69.

Born September 18, 1943, in Racine, Wis., to Alice and Robert Schacht, Dr. Schacht was the second of five children. In 1946 the family moved to Madison, where he graduated from Wisconsin High School in 1961 and the University of Wisconsin in 1965. He earned a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Michigan, specializing in archeology, and made Iran the focus of his archeological research, doing fieldwork there in the 1970s.

He taught anthropology at the universities of Maryland and Houston, Wayne State, Ganado College and Northern Arizona University before obtaining a research and grant support position at NAU’s Institute for Human Development, where he worked for 15 years.

In 2004, he moved to Honolulu to work as research director of the Pacific Basin Rehabilitation Research and Training Center. There he also met and in 2008 married Nel Riddle. Following his retirement in 2008, the couple returned to Flagstaff in 2009.

Dr. Schacht was active in Flagstaff’s Episcopal Church of the Epiphany and was an avid progressive activist, both online and in local political groups, promoting human rights and social justice. He was his family’s archivist and historian, compiling biographies of his mother and grandmothers and researching family ancestry. He also continued his review of his archeological research in Iran, working with his mentor and colleague Henry Wright.

He is survived by his wife, Nel, and her children and their grandchildren; siblings Richard, Charles, Anita and James; and their spouses, children and grandchildren.

A memorial will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 423 North Beaver Street, preceded by a reception at 1:30 p.m.