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Robert H. "Bob" Breslin

January 11, 2021
Robert H. "Bob" Breslin
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Obituary for Robert H. "Bob" Breslin

Robert “Bob” Henry Breslin, Jr. died peacefully on January 11, 2021 at his home in Saunderstown where he lived with Carol Ann (Hathaway), his adored and adoring wife of 53 years. Born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 20th, 1928, to Dr. Robert Henry Breslin and Dr. Kate Elizabeth Breslin, Bob grew up in Warwick with his younger brother, Dr. Thomas Breslin (deceased March, 2020). Bob attended Moses Brown ’46, Brown University’50, and then studied law at Boston College ’54. He worked for the City of Warwick and the citizens of Warwick until the age of 90, beginning as Warwick’s Assistant City Solicitor in 1957. Until the age of 90, he was devoted to his clients was most recently Of Counsel at Sullivan & Sullivan.

With the slogan, “Breslin Cares about Warwick” and honored as the “Young Republican of the Year 1963,” Bob served in the Rhode Island State Legislature from 1961 until 1970. He was elected Member of the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention in 1973. Bob was often written up in The Providence Journal and Warwick Beacon with such headlines as “Breslin Tries Again,” “The Taft-Breslin Ethics Bill,” “Why Not Breslin’s Bill." As recently as 2016, at the age of 88, another one of his many Letters to the Editor, “Kasich would be a great President,” (The Providence Journal) was published. He was a founding partner at Saxon, Butler and Breslin from 1959-1970, and then at Breslin, Sweeney and Earle from 1970-2007.

Bob Breslin enchanted all whom he met. Above all, he loved his family, and was devoted to wife, Carol. From his perch at the head of the family dinner table, he instructed all on how to eat a lobster, every last bit, and yes, even the body. He was curious, intelligent, opinionated, funny and above all engaged! Bob did not forget a name, a song or a story from way back. Whether you were his child or grandchild, a friend (he loved everyone), or his client, he was deeply invested in everyone he knew. His sense of humor cut to the chase, and his mischievous laugh was a known precursor to that devious wit.

“Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent” (i.e. the Boy Scout’s Creed) were Bob’s guiding principles. He chanted the Creed to his children, Pamela (Byrne) Murphy of Washington, D.C.; Melissa (Quentin) Chafee of Saunderstown, Rhode Island; and Robert (Jennifer) Henry Breslin III of Saunderstown, Rhode Island. His ten grandchildren, Quentin, Cameron and Ben Chafee, Avery, Cara, Erin and Kyle Murphy, and Hope, Robert Henry IV, and Timothy Breslin, have all been influenced by Bob’s (“Bubba’s”) values.

Bob contributed to all of his communities throughout his life. To name a few of the many, he was President of the Warwick Rotary Club, Trustee of Rocky Hill School, Trustee of the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace, Trustee of the Willett Free Library in Saunderstown, Commissioner on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, Board member of the Quonset Development Corporation (appointed by Governors Carcieri and Chafee.)

Bob’s interests were aplenty – history, orchids, coins, art, tennis, skiing and sailing. He was an avid fan of the New York Giants , the Red Sox, the Bruins, and the Celtics. He enjoyed tennis, skiing, and was a very good sailor. Bob loved Narragansett Bay and looked at it every day, even the day he died.

Bob shall be dearly missed. A celebration of his life shall be held when conditions permit. Expressions of condolences can be made by making donations in Bob’s name to the Rhode Island Foundation or the Willett Free Library.

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