Obituary: Robert W. Houghtaling, 91

by | Aug 18, 2023

Korean War veteran

Robert W. Houghtaling, 91, of Warwick, passed away on August 16, 2023, at Lakeside Nursing Home. Bob was the beloved husband of Dorothy A. Houghtaling to whom he was married for 70 years.

Born in Yonkers, New York, on November 25, 1931, at Yonkers General Hospital, Bob was the son of Lester R. and Millicent (Papps) Houghtaling. He grew up in Yonkers and attended the public school system. Bob lost his mother, Millicent, to pneumonia in March 1936, but she always remained in his heart and mind throughout his long and eventful life.

Bob attended the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City from 1941-1944 where he sang with the boys’ choir under director Norman Coke-Jephcott. He later attended Charles E. Gorton High School in Yonkers where he enjoyed singing in musicals, running cross-country, and painting. After graduating from high school in 1949, Bob joined the Navy Reserves. He also worked for a toy company and later enlisted with the Marines, serving in the Korean War in 1951.

After returning from Korea, Bob was stationed at Quonset Point before working as a salesman and manager for Carson & Ellis Paint Shop for nearly twenty-five years. While in Rhode Island, he met his wife, Dot, and they were married on August 22, 1953. Bob later worked as a salesman for LK Goodwin, Kyanize, Insulex Manufacturing Company, and Benjamin Moore before retiring in 2009. In his late fifties, he learned Kenpo karate and eventually worked his way up to a third-degree black belt. Bob also took art courses at the Rhode Island School of Design and later sang with the West Bay Chorale.

Bob was a member of the Warwick Rotary Club and a devoted Christian. He attended Lakewood Baptist Church and later transferred to Spring Green Memorial Church where he was a member for over 56 years. At Spring Green, Bob served as church president, deacon, trustee, Sunday school teacher, and choir member, among other roles. More than anything else, he loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and looked forward to being with Him someday.

Throughout his life, Bob loved to sing, draw, paint, run, practice karate, watch movies, and spend time with his family and friends. He had an open-door policy and freely gave his time, talent, and treasure to everyone he encountered. 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 Robert L. Houghtaling and wife Elaine Arts of Warwick and Elaine M. Cate and late husband Peter of Warwick. He was the devoted grandfather of Christopher Cate and wife Kathryn, Matthew Cate and wife Caroline, Nicole Anselmo and husband Kevin, Nicholas Cate, Sarah Green and husband Robert, Alexander Houghtaling, and the late Dwight Arts Furey. Bob was the great-grandfather of Luca Anselmo, Xavier Anselmo, and Lunafreya Green.

Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours on Thursday, August 24, 2023, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick. A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 25, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Spring Green Memorial Church, 1350 Warwick Avenue, Warwick.

Contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to Spring Green Memorial Church.

You can leave an online condolence at the Barrett and Cotter Funeral Home website HERE.

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Pat Afonso
Pat Afonso
August 18, 2023 9:15 pm

Dear Dottie and family,

Our sincere sympathy to everyone.
Bob was a gentle soul who lived his life as a true Christian. May God’s love enfold all
of you during this difficult time.

Sincerely with Love,
Pat and Bob Afonso

May God’s love enfold all of you.
A beautiful person who lived his life as a true Christian.

Deb Dowding
Deb Dowding
August 19, 2023 3:28 pm

We always enjoyed talking to Bob, and we appreciate how kind and thoughtful he was to our father/father-in-law Jim Dowding. They enjoyed singing together at Spring Green. Also, we appreciate that Bob brought communion to the house for my father-in-law when he was no longer able to get out. We are sorry that we cannot make the calling hours or service as we will be in Maine, but you are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Michael Zaino
Michael Zaino
August 21, 2023 10:05 am

Bob: Sorry to hear about the loss of your father.

August 26, 2023 7:46 am

Bob, Very sorry to hear of the passing of your Father. He was a true Marine and
a great teller of stories. I know how close you were and that you will miss him. But, remember,
as the Japanese say, as long as you hold him in your mind and heart, he will always be alive
for you. Our prayers for you and your family.

Bruce & Elaine Mastracchio


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