Robert “Bob” E. Emerson of Newport, and husband to Roberta (Shelman) Emerson, died unexpectedly on February 15, 2022 at the great age of 88.

Born January 31, 1934 in Fall River Massachusetts to Ellis and Marion Emerson, Bob as a boy moved with his family to Arizona and then California during the 1940’s and 1950’s. While in California, Bob with his love for aviation, became an aircraft mechanic stateside during the Korean war.

Shortly thereafter, Bob moved back to New England where we would meet his future wife and soulmate, Roberta Shelman of Newport and raise three wonderful children in Newport. Bob worked locally, mainly at ALMACS on Bellevue Ave. as Produce Manager and then finishing his career and retiring at the Newport Public Schools Administration building.

Family was paramount to Bob. He enjoyed raising and being actively involved in his children’s lives. Whether it was guiding his two sons through the Boy’s Scouts as Assistant Scout Master in Troop 52 and seeing them attain Eagle Scout, or supporting his daughter during her dance years either behind the curtain or in the audience. There were other numerous activities his children were involved in, and Bob was always a constant support.

Bob also had a special love for animals. Whether they were your typical household pet, or wild birds and ducks, Bob also treated them with the utmost care and admiration.

Besides family life, Bob had quite a busy life in the community. He volunteered countless hours to Newport area non-profit organizations like Volunteers In Newport Education, Literacy Volunteers of Newport County, Friends of the Waterfront, and the Newport Art Museum. Bob was also involved in the Masons, The Improved Order of Red Men, and the Rhode Island Radio Club.

Bob somehow found time to enjoy his hobbies as well. He loved Astronomy, being a HAM radio operator, photography, gardening, REIKI certified, cars and playing the banjo. It was not uncommon to see Bob with one of his visiting grandchildren and doing those hobbies together.

Besides his wife of 58 years, Bob leaves his sons Bert Emerson (Martha) and Eric Emerson (Jennifer), his daughter Ellen Emerson-Dyl (Tim), his beloved grandchildren, Jonah, Pearl, Ruth, Freya, Bjorn, Zachary, Hannah, Isabella, his brother Bill Emerson (Audrey) and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother David, and his father-in law Bert and mother-in-law Ruth Shelman whom he loved as if they were his parents.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, the 23rd of February at 11:00am at the Calvary United Methodist Church, located at 200 Turner Rd. Middletown, RI. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research or the American Diabetes Association would be greatly appreciated.

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Memorial Funeral Home

This obituary was originally published by Memorial Funeral Home on It has been republished here with permission and at no cost.