Robert J. Esposito Sr. - Smithfield

Robert J. Esposito Sr. - Smithfield

Robert J. Esposito Sr., 81, of Smithfield, passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

Born on Sept. 22, 1931, Bob was the caring and dedicated son of the late Ernest and Jennie (Nassa) Esposito. He was the loving and devoted father of Dolores Rinaldi and her husband Kenneth of Johnston, Master Sgt. Steven Esposito USAF, retired, of South Korea, Karen Esposito and Susan Esposito of Smithfield, Maria Esposito of St. Petersburg, Fla., Jeffrey Esposito of Providence, and Lisa Esposito of Randolph, Mass. He was the beloved father of the late Robert J. Esposito Jr. He also leaves behind his brothers, Ernest Esposito of Cranston and Richard Esposito of Scituate, and his sister, Vivian Toste of Providence. He was the adoring grandfather of Fred Saunders and Lilia Murphy. He had an exceptionally close relationship with his grandson, Robert J. Esposito III, with whom he lived, loving and guiding him on a daily basis. He was a great-grandfather to Jaden and Leah Saunders and Logan and Atticus Murphy. He also leaves many close family members and friends who are at a great loss from his passing.

Bob began working at 10 years old as a bread baker in the early morning hours before school with his brother Ernie. He graduated from Central High School and began 60 years of dedicated work to support his family. He always placed the needs of others before himself and got great pleasure out of helping everyone. He did whatever it took to ensure that his family and friends were happy. His unselfish acts of kindness and generosity were greatly appreciated by everyone who knew him.

He was a true believer in the democratic process and believed that every citizen had the responsibility to be active in their government. Bob lived this belief through his actions. For more than 40 years he served as a fiscal watchdog for the town of Smithfield. He loved his town and wanted to ensure that it was affordable to anyone who wanted to live there.

He founded the Smithfield Tax League with the goal of bringing a common sense approach to fiscal responsibility. He was also a past member of the Smithfield Planning Board. His greatest contribution, however, was his dedication to attending Town Council, Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings. Only a handful of meetings were missed over the past 40 years due to illness or personal commitments.

Free time did not exist for Bob. He spent every spare minute outside maintaining his property with his children at the “Esposito Compound.” He got great pleasure out of beautifying his residences at MYOB WAY on Stillwater Road. His yard was offered to various family members for functions, including the wedding of his beautiful granddaughter Lilia to Timothy Murphy. The culmination of his efforts occurred each summer with the annual Nassa family reunion. In his honor, this tradition will continue each year.

Although life went on, he never truly got over the loss of his son, Robert, who passed away from cancer at the age of 25. There were many other obstacles in his life and he met each one with determination and courage and NEVER accepted defeat. He instilled this philosophy of life in each of his children and always expected them to rise to each challenge completely. He was an exceptionally caring person to everyone he encountered. He is irreplaceable and will always be in the hearts and memories of all the lives he touched.

His funeral and burial were private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Robert J. Esposito Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 17001, Esmond, RI 02917.