Robert Anthony Votta, 80, of Morgantown, and formerly of North Providence, R.I., won his almost five year battle against cancer; he passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday May 4, 2021. Now he is healed and with his creator in the kingdom of heaven. Robert, or “Bob,” was 80 years old and born on April 2, 1941, in Providence, R.I. He was the son of the late Nicholas and Ophelia (Emma) Votta.
Bob is survived by his faithful and loving wife of 57 years, Rosemarie Votta, daughter and son-in-law, Gabriele Smith (Votta) and Mark Smith, of Morgantown; daughter Angela Votta, of Morgantown, and son Nicholas Votta, of Coventry, R.I.; and seven grandchildren, Jonathan Suite, Samuel Suite, Dylan Rupke, Dominic Rupke and Gianna Rupke, of Morgantown, Nicholas Votta Jr. and Christiana Votta, of Coventry, R.I.
In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his sisters Anna Votta and Marie Dipalma.
He was born, raised and lived most of his life in Rhode Island. Retirement brought him to West Virginia in 2010 to be closer to his family.
Bob was a proud veteran of the United States Army, serving in Berlin, Germany from 1963-1969 where he met his soulmate, Rosemarie. There, he served as a Marksman at the Berlin Wall, guarding the boundary between East and West Berlin. He also played clarinet and conducted in the U.S. Army Marching band. Awards received include the Army of Occupation Medal for his service and the designation as a Marksman. In 1969, Bob was honorably discharged as a private first class.
Music was undoubtedly Bobs’ passion. While proficient with the flute, clarinet and piano, his main love was saxophone. He played in several bands in his youth and in various venues throughout New England. During his early 20s, he and his friends ventured out with a band called “The Bob Man Trio.” He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Arts from the University of Connecticut and, lastly, a business management degree from Johnson and Wales University.
Bob taught music in the Rhode Island school system until retirement. For a number of years, he volunteered as a high school hockey coach. Following retirement from the school, Bob and his wife started their own business, Votta Music, in Providence, R.I. He enjoyed teaching music, giving lessons, repairing instruments and serving the local community and school systems through his store. They owned and operated Votta Music until moving to West Virginia.
Attending jazz music festivals and Gaither Family Fests was a favorite pastime of Bob and Rose. In his later years, Bob would often bless his fellow church members with his musical talents. He continued to play his beloved instruments as long as possible, and when his health did not permit it, he donated several to Monongalia County School.
Bob was known for his heartfelt generosity and willingness to help his family and others in need. His quick wit and dry sense of humor will be missed. A devout Christian, he attended the Fresh Harvest Church until his health did not permit it. Faith was central to his daily life. Bob was a living testimony to Christ spreading the Good News to those who needed to receive God’s word.
Bob’s family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at WVU Cancer Center for their compassion and tireless support. A special thank you is sent to Dr. Joanna Kolodney and Dr. Christopher Ciffarelli for their expert and compassionate care and treatment over the past five years. The family also expresses thanks and gratitude to the WV Caring Hospice Team, for their support and care in his final days.
Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to the Fred L. Jenkins Funeral Home, 10 South High St., Morgantown. The family will receive friends at the funeral home, from 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., Sunday May 9, and again from 10 a.m., Monday, until the time of the funeral service at 11 a.m. with Pastor David Hood of the Fresh Harvest Church, officiating.
Burial will follow the service and Bob will be laid to rest at the WV National Cemetery in Pruntytown, with graveside military rites conducted by Taylor County Honor Guards and WVANG, Camp Dawson, Kingwood.
Honoring Mr. Robert Votta as pallbearers are his five grandsons, Jonathan Suite, Samuel Suite, Dylan Rupke, Dominic Rupke and Nicholas Votta Jr.; his son, Nicholas Votta; and son-in-law, Robert Mark Smith.
The family requests that any memorial gifts/donations be made to the WV Caring Hospice P.O. Box 760 Arthurdale, WV 26520 .