He enjoyed meeting with people over pizza or a cup of coffee and preferred in-person contact over email and texts
Robert L. Houghtaling 69, of Warwick, passed away from a brief illness on Dec. 8, surrounded by his loving family. Bob was the beloved husband of Elaine Arts to whom he was married for 12 years.
Born in Warwick, on July 10, 1954, in Kent County Memorial Hospital, Bob was the son of the late Robert W. and Dorothy (Babcock) Houghtaling. He grew up in Warwick and attended public schools, including Lakewood Elementary School, Holliman Elementary School, and Aldrich Junior High School. Bob graduated from Pilgrim High School in 1972 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history from Rhode Island College and a master’s degree from Providence College.
After high school, Bob worked for a number of human service organizations such as The Trudeau Center, St. Aloysius Home, and Ocean Tides. He developed a passion for mental health issues and counseling by working with people from all walks of life. In 1983, Bob found his calling when the Town of East Greenwich asked him to lead its new drug program. For four decades, Bob worked for and with the Town of East Greenwich as its Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Services.
In addition to his work for the town, Bob was active in many other areas and organizations. Bob organized and ran The Teen Center, a place where teens could get together, have fun, and stay safe. For several decades, Bob led Youth-to-Youth Conferences in Rhode Island, encouraging teenagers to live drug-free lives. He served as an Exeter-West Greenwich School Committee member.
From a young age, Bob loved to run, play basketball and tennis, watch movies, read history books, and spend time with family and friends. He enjoyed meeting with people over pizza or a cup of coffee and preferred in-person contact over email and texts. Bob will be greatly missed and always remembered for the love he had for his family, friends, and community.
Bob was the loving father of Nicole Anselmo and husband Kevin Anselmo of Sarasota, Fla.; Alexander Houghtaling of Warwick; and the late Dwight Arts Furey of Warwick. He was the devoted grandfather of Luca and Xavier Anselmo. Bob is also survived by his mother Dorothy Houghtaling of Warwick, sister Elaine M. Cate of Warwick (wife of the late Peter E. Cate) as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Bob’s relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours on Monday, Dec. 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. in The Butterfield Chapel, 500 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston. A Funeral and Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m. in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 99 Peirce Street, East Greenwich. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the East Greenwich Academy Foundation, 98 Pitman Road, Warwick, RI 02886.
As Bob would say, “Always look on the bright side of life.”
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