Robert E. Verrecchia, age 71, passed away on Thursday, May 25, after a long and heroic battle with cancer. He was born on August 9, 1951, to Alfred A. Verrecchia and Elda (Tortolani) Verrecchia. He is survived by his only and older brother, Alfred J. Verrecchia, and his wife, Gerrie. Uncle Robert will be greatly missed by his nephew, Michael Verrecchia (Dawn) and his three nieces, Michele Levy (Chris), Melisa Verrecchia (Andy Marr), and Lisa Verrecchia-Montes (Lucio). He’ll be fondly remembered as a notorious and storied figure in their lives. He also leaves behind his grand nieces and nephews, some of whom playfully called him “Uncle Bobert,” a name to which he eventually warmed up.
Robert spent his career in the construction business and lived for many years on the island of St. Thomas and then Florida. But, as his brother often reminded him, he was born a Rhode Islander, and Rhode Islanders always come home. He never married and did not have children of his own, but he had a big Italian family who adored him. And he had great friends. Close friendships that spanned lifetimes, and even a few that outlasted him. Gratitude to those who were with him until the very end.
The Verrecchia family would like to especially thank his long-time doctor and trusted confidant, Dr. Fred Schiffman, who saw him through decades of illness with incredible compassion and care, steadfast support, respect, and dignity. We are eternally grateful. You were a good doctor to him, and a good friend.
Robert “Bobby” Verrecchia lived life on his own terms. He did things exactly as he wanted to do them. He enjoyed the good life, a quality proudly attributed to his Italian roots. He loved good music, a good book, nice clothes, good looking women, and a fine bottle of wine. And by the grace of the good Lord, he got to live that life for a long time! He also loved the sunshine, and we know he’s spending the rest of eternity working on his tan, maintaining his physique, and showing off that gorgeous head of hair.
His single greatest accomplishment in life was paving the way for his nieces and nephews and generations of Verrecchias to come to be rebels and rule breakers, to question authority, to be a little wild, to take the risk, to make mistakes and quickly get back up because hell, at least you tried, and to never ever stop havin’ a good time along the way.
Uncle Robert showed us that when life tries to kick your ass, you kick it right back.
One author found repeatedly among the stacks of books that lined his old bedroom in Dean Estates, Hunter S. Thompson, wrote:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’”
Heaven, he’s all yours now.
Funeral service is Monday June 5, at 11 a.m. at the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. Burial will be in St. Ann’s Cemetery, Cranston. Calling hours will be prior to the service from 9 to 11a.m.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you kindly donate to: Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Ave., Fain Building, 3rd Floor, Providence, RI 02906.
You can leave an online condolence at the Hill Funeral Home website HERE.
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