Robert A. Fantasia, age 78

of Taunton

Robert A. Fantasia, age 78

Robert A. Fantasia, age 78, of Taunton, formerly of Norton, died peacefully, Sunday, March 8, 2020, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, surrounded by his loving family.

Robert was born in Boston, raised and educated in Dorchester, attended Boston Latin and graduated from Boston English High School. He also graduated from the former Boston State College and received his Master’s degree in Special Education from Bridgewater State University. He had lived in Taunton for forty years, previously in Norton for ten years.

As a young man, he was a passionate teacher for Boston Public Schools and later worked for the Massachusetts Department of Education, Division of Special Education. He worked with legislators to draft and pass significant special needs legislation, including Chapter 766. He also took a leading role for the READS Collaborative for special education in the early years. Most recently, he worked at the Boston Higashi School in Randolph, retiring as the Executive Director and Principal. He currently served as a member of their Board of Directors. Over his thirty-three-year career at Higashi, he was well-known for his devotion to his students, their families and his fellow colleagues.

Robert loved baseball and carried on his passion by volunteering as a Little League coach, mentoring young players for many years. He was an avid Boston Red Sox fan. Robert was also a skilled cook and enjoyed gardening. He especially cherished the Japanese maples and cherry blossoms in his backyard.

Beloved husband for twenty years of Yumiko (Ishizuka) Fantasia.

Devoted father of Rene Fantasia Heron of North Andover, Nathan R. Fantasia and Sylvia Wan of Woburn, and twins, Aria S. Fantasia and Ryuji A. Fantasia, both of Taunton, and the late Steven A. Fantasia.

Loving grandfather of Daniel P. Heron and Margaret K. Heron.

Much-loved son of the late Sara C. (LaGreca) Cappadona and her husband, Anthony Cappadona.

Robert is also survived by many cousins and friends.

Visiting hours will be held at the Sweeney Brothers Home for Funerals, 1 Independence Avenue, Quincy, on Monday, March 16, from  4 – 7 p.m.

For those who wish, donations in Robert’s memory may be made to Boston Higashi School, 800 North Main Street, Randolph, MA 02368.


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  • Rest In Peace Bob. You will be missed and remembered for your high level of true human compassion & effort to educate.

  • Bob,

    Rest in peace.

    I will miss you so much. You have done great work for Higashi School, its students and staff. You have touched so many people’s lives.

  • Mr.Fantasia
    Please rest in peace.
    You really served the students, parents and teachers of BHS well.
    I was really happy to work with you. I really appreciate it.

  • Bob,
    Please rest in peace.
    You are my buddy forever.

  • Bob
    You were a true hero. You fought long and you fought hard for the students, the parents, and even the staff of Boston Higashi School. Your dedication and commitment to serving children with special needs and fighting for what they deserved is your legacy. – may we continue to follow in your footsteps and carry on the fight. Rest In Peace knowing that your spirit of love and kindness towards those that need it most remains in the halls of Higashi.
    You will be greatly missed.

  • Rest In Peace

  • My son Aaran’s quality of life would not be what it is today without the amazing work of Robert Fantasia and the Boston Higashi School. My thoughts are with Bob’s family at this sad time. Forever grateful to you Bob . Amanda Stewart

  • Dear

    Your great soul will continue to live on everybody’s heart, teacher’s, parent’s, and children’s.  You taught us to believe in our potential. 
    I will forever cherish what I learned from you.
    With my deepest sympathy.

  • For special people like you who have done such compassionate and meaningful work helping so many children and young adults the Lord will have a special place for you and will bless Yumiko and other members of your family. We are grateful that we knew you and the loving care you gave to our son over so many years. May you Rest In Peace

  • Yumi
    Much love from Karl and I, Bob was an inspiring man who believed in two young business owners. We will be forever grateful for his support over the past 30 years.
    We are so sorry for your loss.
    Mary Ellen & Karl

  • We are all very saddened by these news. Our hearts go out to Yumi and the family and also the entire Higashi family. We will be forever grateful for all you did for Jose. Your kindness and dedication will never be forgotten.
    Big hug from the Jose Estevez and family

  • Bob
    You have given our boys so much hope love and support.
    We remember seeing you at our son’s graduation and we had tears in our eyes at seeing how proud you were of him.
    We remember sitting down talking about setting up the daycare so that our kids can benefit from the great teachers staying on. You will be so missed. You are loved by the Luy Family

  • Bob. 27 years ago, you took me into Boston Higashi School. The place the most challenging but most rewarding. We did a lot of things together. So many things were hard but you were always there for us. I learned from you, to never give up. I love you so much. Please rest in Peace. My thoughts are with Yumi and the family.

  • Dear Mrs. Fantasia,

    I am deeply sorry to learn of your husband’s passing.

    Mr. Fantasia had supported Dr. Kiyo Kitahara since the time she just established the Boston Higashi School. He was very understanding of Dr. Kitahara’s educational approaches, and after her passing, he assumed a leading role in overcoming many challenges.

    Thanks to his contribution, the School were accepted well in the US and has a solid ground as it is today. His great achievement will be memorized forever.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    In deepest sympathy,
    Kinji Terada





  • Mr. Fantasia,

    When I first met you, Higashi was only five years old. Now it is a huge school with a beautiful campus surrounded by cherry trees. Thank you for always supporting me when I thought I could not keep going. Thank you for always believing in my potential. This school will not have survived without your perseverance and dedication. We will have many more students and graduates because of what you have fought for. More than words can say. Thank you. Kaori

  • Mr. Fantasia,
    Your smile, words, leadership, warmth, wisdom, love, heart, and being live in us all the time.
    We love you, Bob.
    Thank you very much.
    Please rest in peace.
    Katsumi, Mika, Mari, Teriha, & Taro

  • You and your loved ones will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    After Dr. Kitahara’s passing you supported us through such a difficult time.
    I will treasure the time that we shared together and the support that you gave me.
    The feeling remains in the depths of my heart and hold it dear to me.

    Go Red Sox! May he rest in peace.

  • Mr. Fantasia,

    Rest in Peace.

    Remembering Mr. Fantasia’s great legacy and dedication to the education field, especially for Boston Higashi School, will forever remain in our hearts. I am able to be here in the US because you gave me such a huge support. Thank you, Mr. Fantasia.

    Hiro (Hiroshi Abe)

  • Mr. Fantasia was an integral part of Boston Higashi school. He touched so many of us in ways we will surely missed. Anytime Mr. Fantasia stopped by the school, he said hello and went into small talks with staff he never met or who weren’t even here when he was the Principal. My prayers goes out to the entire family and I pray the good Lord give you the fortitude to bear the loss. Amen!

  • Dear Yumi and Family

    I was so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I have many memories of my time at Higashi and how Bob loved the school, students, parents and especially the staff.
    May he Rest In Peace and may you and the family find comfort in his lasting legacy.

  • Bob helped define what the Boston Higashi School is. We was a guiding force during the early years and provided leadership while the school grew. It is with a heavy heart that we now carry on with his mission without him.

    As you once said to me, “To Greatness”, Mr. Fantasia! We will make you proud.

  • Bob
    You will be missed every time I have to go mow the Lawn. Having you mow the front and side yard made my summer a lot better. However when winter came roaring in you were nice and warm in the house as I was out there with the snowblower doing the drive way. Still don’t know who had the better deal. For those years living next door to each other , You are going to be missed.

  • Bob
    Every time I go out to mow the lawn I will be thinking of you. It was a pleasure to have you doing the lawn during the summer, which made my summer easier to get other things done. However, when old man winter came in you were nice and warm watching me through the window doing the snow blowing in the drive way. We had a hell of a relationship living next door to each other for all those years, you are going to be big time missed.