Robert J. D’Uva
June 22, 1948 to February 18, 2021
The Italian American community of Rhode Island lost one of its honored and adored members on Thursday, February 18th. Federal Hill lost its fiercest advocate, and the State of Rhode Island lost one of its most beloved members of the media. Many of us lost a great friend.
Robert J. D’Uva, founder and Publisher of the Rhode Island Echo and long-time President of the Federal Hill Commerce Association died unexpectedly in his Johnston home.
Bob attended Johnston Public Schools and later graduated from Roger Williams College (now Roger Williams University) with an Associates Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in American Political Science.
After college he started his career in the media as an Advertising Sales Representative for the Pawtuxet Valley Daily Times (now the Kent County Times). He would later take a position at WBRU Radio (then located at Brown University) and later joined the staff at the sales department at WHJJ and WHJY radio. His media travels would take him back to the Pawtuxet Valley Daily Times where he was very visible in the Pawtuxet Valley Community, serving as President of the Pawtuxet Valley Chamber of Commerce for two terms.
In 2012, Bob had the greatest idea of all – publish a newspaper that would capture the spirit and positive aspects of the State of Rhode Island. He named it the Rhode Island Echo, a name that had remembrances of the past and at the same time a bold step into the future. Undaunted by the naysayers that said that print media’s best days were behind her, Bob was confident that a “specialty” newspaper would be successful. He was right. The Rhode Island Echo will publish its 100th edition in April. Bob’s family will continue to publish the paper in his legacy.
Beyond the Rhode Island Echo, Bob also pitched in to help numerous community organizations including the Loggia Piave #364, an Italo-American organization that named him their “Merit Award Recipient” in 2007 and served as Director at the DaVinci Center for Community Progress on Charles Street in Providence. Bob was a huge advocate for local businesses and restaurants and never stopped finding ways to help them succeed.
Through all his success and community involvement, there was nothing that mattered more to Bob than his family. He and his brother Anthony Jr. grew up on Webster Avenue in Providence, and four years later his mother Jean and father Anthony Sr. would move the family to Johnston, where they remained most of their lives. Along the way Bob married his beloved Susan. The two were inseparable until he lost her to cancer in 2006. The couple would have two children, Charlotte, who resides in Colorado, and Elizabeth of Rhode Island. Elizabeth and her husband Andrew Choiniere have two children, Stella and Leo. There was nothing that Bob enjoyed more than spending time with his grandchildren and proudly boasting about his daughters. Bob will also be sadly missed by his longtime girlfriend Yitee Tarr of Cranston.
Bob was the heart of Rhode Island. He was a force of nature who believed in the good of people. He was constantly on the go and forever networking. He got along with everyone. He had a love of singing and music and could not get enough of the band, Toto. He loved Rodney Dangerfield jokes, Johnny Carson re-runs and drifting to sleep watching Bob Ross. There was no one prouder of his Italian heritage. If he wasn’t at home, he was probably at his other home- Federal Hill.
Bob is with Suzie now. We thank God for letting him become a part of so many lives. In keeping with Bob’s spirit, in lieu of flowers, if you would like to take out a memorial ad for the April issue of the RI Echo, please email: email@example.com. Relatives and friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, February 24th at 12:30pm at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 1081 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence. Burial will be private. Visiting hours are respectfully omitted. Due to COVID restrictions limited seating is available.
Bob’s family plans to host an outdoor celebration of his life in the Summer months of 2021.