Neil Benjamin “Bud, Tubby” Tubman – Smithfield

Neil Benjamin “Bud, Tubby” Tubman – Smithfield

Neil Benjamin “Bud, Tubby” Tubman, Retired Sergeant, Smithfield Police Department, 87, of Continental Road, Greenville, passed away of natural causes Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Neil was being visited and comforted by family members at Hebert Nursing Home in Smithfield, at the time of his passing. He was the loving husband of Jean M. (Sprague) Tubman for 68 years.

Neil was born in Taunton, Mass., on May 8, 1931. He was the eighth child of Benjamin S. Tubman and Susan E. (Abbott) Tubman and was preceded in death by his siblings David, Ruth, George, Esther, Donald, Eleanor, Joyce and Philip.

Besides his wife, he is survived by three of his children: Gail Dunbar and her husband, Steve, of Greenville, S.C; Susan Williams and her husband, Ronald, of Johnston; and Ronald Tubman and his wife, Gina, of Smithfield. He was also the father of the late Karen Robitaille.

Neil also leaves 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. He was extremely proud of his family and one of his favorite things to do at family gatherings would be to look around at everyone and proclaim “without me, none of you would be here!”

Neil spent his younger years in Cranston and Warwick, R.I., before being married to Jean Sprague in 1950. After living in Providence for a short while they settled in Greenville where they lived together for the better part of seven decades.

From a young age Neil had an interest in cars which led to him managing, then owning several local service stations. While he enjoyed the automotive business Neil found his calling when he became a “special” on the Smithfield Police Department while it was still located in the basement of the Smithfield Town Hall. After a year or so Neil took a permanent position with the “Force” as he called it. Rising through the ranks, he ultimately earned the rank of Sergeant, or “Sarge” as his fellow officers and friends called him. Retiring from the force due to illness, Neil would look back fondly on his years as an officer and loved to reminisce with friends and family about the old days when he and Artie “The Chopper” Williams,” Bobby LaChapelle, Jimmy McVey, Frenchy LeBeau, Holly Gates, Red Williams, Joe Larkin and the rest of the force patrolled the mean streets of Smithfield.

Neil ended his working days employed by South Auburn Oil Company in Cranston. He enjoyed his retirement visiting with friends and family.

Anyone who knew him, whether as Neil, Bud or Tubby will tell you he was larger than life and that he was always the first to offer help or lend a hand when someone was in need. The world is a slightly quieter place with him gone and he will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Visiting hours are Sunday, May 27, 2018, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Anderson-Winfield Funeral Home in Greenville with a short funeral service starting at 5 p.m. Burial will be private.