Portsmouth, RI, Robert J. Perrello, passed away on Monday, February 6, 2017, at the Rhode Island Veterans Home, Bristol.

He was the husband of the late Helen (Buckley) Perrello.

Born on June 15, 1920, he was the son of the late James Vincent and Mary (Magnapane) Perrello.

It’s party time in heaven! Robert is reunited with Helen, his beloved wife of 65 years, who “didn’t play fair” and was the first to die. Despite “his Daddy telling him not to grow old”, grow old he did. He lasted 8 years after losing Helen, and was 96 when he joined her. This tempers our great loss –he was a ship without a rudder without Mom, and they are finally together again. He is also joining his eldest daughter Jean Marie Engstrume.

Bob joined the Navy at 17, and served both the Atlantic and the Pacific during WWII, and in Korea. He made the Navy a career, and traveled the world with Helen and the children in tow. His final Navy years were teaching at the Naval War College in Newport. They had a knack of making life and adventure, and collected friends along the way, keeping in touch as family. Their home was always open and welcoming to all. “Put another potato in the pot” and stay as long as needed was their way of life, a perfect mingling of their Italian and Irish heritage. They both taught by example rather than by lectures.

When QMC Perrello retired from the Navy in 1961, he was a trailblazer, attending RIC where he was often mistaken for the instructor, rather than the balding 31 year old student. He received a BA in Math and Science and taught school at St. Luke’s in Barrington after graduation. He continued his education and received his MA at URI in statistics and educational research and almost completed his doctoral thesis, until he was sidelined by health issues. As he said, “I know I can do it and that’s enough for now”.

Bob was an Engineering Statistician at the Navy Underwater Systems Center and an Educational Research Specialist for the Navy School Complex. In 1972 he was the Administrator of the Catholic Schools of Woonsocket, and in 1974 he was a supervisor of the RI Junior College Computerized Career Information System. His last position was as Manager of Information Development and Affirmative Action Officer for the State of Massachusetts Computerized Occupational Information System.

Bob also volunteered his time, both at the Navy base for retirees and their families and with AARP and the 55 Alive Driving Program. Helen was always by his side as his “administrative assistant”. He served on the Board of Canvasses in Newport for many years.

He leaves three daughters, Kathleen Goncalo of Fall River, Roberta and Stephen Shaw of Little Compton, and Elena Perrello and Gary Eckmann of Eddington, ME. He also leaves five grandchildren, Erica Goncalo, Justin Shaw, Lauren Nelson, Casey Quaglia and Chelsea Quaglia, and one great granddaughter Adelee Elena Nelson.

A special thank you to Rosa for her wonderful care of Dad at the Rhode Island Veteran’s Home.

Please do a good deed in Bob’s memory, as he was the original pay if forward before it was so named in the movies.

Salute Dad you will be greatly missed. It is an honor being your daughters.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017, from 10:30 to 11:00am in Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, followed by a service at 11.

Burial will take place in Trinity Cemetery East Main Road, Portsmouth.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Navy Relief Fund, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Attn: Development, 875 N. Randolph St. Ste 225, Arlington, VA 22203.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.