On Monday, December 21, 2020, Robert E. Reall, 88, of Lincoln, formerly of Greenville, died peacefully at home surrounded by many loved ones. He was the loving husband of Mary Ellen (Gaynor) Cimino and the late Marion (Condon) Reall.
Bob lived a full life that left a lasting impression on all those who knew him.
Born in Providence, he was a son of the late James and Edna (Thornton) Reall. He was a 1950 graduate of LaSalle Academy. He earned both his Bachelor and Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Providence College. He then went on to serve as Captain in the United States Army Reserves during the Korean Conflict. Upon completion of his military service, Bob worked as a teacher in the Providence School system for 18 years, at both George J. West Middle School and Central High School.
Bob’s love of sports was a common thread throughout his entire life. As a child he grew up skating on Geneva pond. He was an all-state hockey player while at LaSalle Academy. As a college athlete, Bob was the only three-time Captain of the Providence College Hockey Team (1952-1955). His impact on Friar Athletics was cemented in 2009 when he was inducted into their Hall of Fame.
To many, Bob was known as “Coach.” His legendary coaching career began as the assistant hockey coach at Hope High School (1958). He went on to coach at Mount Pleasant High School (1960) and Roger Williams College (1965-1967). While teaching at Central, he coached both hockey and baseball (1968-1976). Bob then spent 24 years working at Bryant University in multiple roles, most notably as the Intramural Director and head coach of three varsity sports: hockey, baseball and softball. His unparalleled leadership resulted in his induction into Bryant’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
One of the many shining moments of Bob’s coaching career was in 1965 when he led the St. Philip’s CYO Baseball team to the New England Championship. Another proud accomplishment was in 1975 when Bob coached both high school and college hockey. In this year, his Bryant University team won the ECAC Division III Championship, and his Central High School team captured the Class C Title.
The Smithfield community will remember Bob for his tireless efforts over five years as the town’s recreation director. He was instrumental in starting the Smithfield Youth Hockey program.
In his retirement, Bob was often found at a hockey rink, basketball court or baseball field cheering for his grandchildren. If he wasn’t there he was probably in a classroom as a substitute teacher, driving a school bus or teaching Drivers Ed. Bob enjoyed trips to Florida each year to watch the Major League Baseball spring training. Throughout his life Bob was able to visit all 50 states and enjoyed touring various athletic complexes, most notably The Big House in Michigan and Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Bob made a lasting impression on every person he met. This is evident in the number of people who have said how he positively impacted their lives. It was no coincidence that on the day Bob was called home, the planets aligned to reveal the Star of Bethlehem, for the first time in almost 800 years.
Perhaps the greatest legacy he leaves behind is his family. Besides his wife, he is survived by his children: Sharon Simons and her husband, Pat of Boise, ID, Susan Crabtree and her husband, Peter of Lynchburg, VA, Robert Reall, and his wife, Kathy of Smithfield, RI, Marcia Buckley, and her fiancée Frank Diciolla of Foster, RI, Chris Reall and his wife, Michele of Orlando, FL, Beth Loffredo and her husband, Bill of Terre Haute, IN. Bob also leaves five step-children: Gerard, Michelle, Linda, Kelly and Raymond Cimino. He was the proud Papa of 17 grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. Bob also leaves his sister-in-law, Beatrice Reall and several nieces and nephews. He spoke fondly of his many cousins who he enjoyed keeping in touch with throughout the years. He was the grandfather of the late Andrew Crabtree, brother of the late Richard Reall and father-in-law of the late C. Thomas Buckley.
His funeral mass is private due to COVID restrictions. An internet viewing will be available on the St. Philip Church YouTube page on Saturday, December 26th at 9:30am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bryant University Black and Gold Club in the name of Hall of Famer Bob Reall. https://bit.ly/3aBfiHi