Richard W. Robbins


Richard W. Robbins of Providence died September 23, 2013 in the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence. He was the husband of Nancy Martin Robbins.

He was born in May 21, 1927 in Riverton, New Jersey. Recently living in Elmwood, but for many years he made his home across from the historic Dexter Training Grounds in Providence. He found a great sense of community in this area of the city which he fondly referred to as “Armory Village.” Rick was a graduate of George School in Pennsylvania and Harvard University. He received a MLS degree from Simmons College and served as director of the Pawtucket Public Library and then the Warwick Public Library. An activist library leader, he initiated the first Sunday open hours for libraries in the state and the system of interlibrary return of borrowed materials currently in use.

His interest in historic Providence led him to offer walking tours by the Providence Walking Company that he established. He was a lover of trees and planted many. A birthright Quaker, his hope was that all maintain their aspiration and efforts for a country at peace and a world without war.

Besides his wife he leaves a daughter, Elizabeth Benson of Johnston, a son Charles Robbins of Providence; a grandson, Lawrence Livingstone, a granddaughter, Emily Mabrouk; his great-grandson Adrian and his great-granddaughter, Ava.

No services are planned at this time. Donations in his memory may be made to Providence Rescue Mission, 627 Cranston St., Providence, RI 02907. Condolences may be left at


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