Remembering Robert R. Cote

Robert R. Cote
Robert R. Cote

Robert Roger Joseph “Bob” Cote, age 84, died at home on March 23, 2021 in the care of his family and Capital Caring Hospice. His children wish to express deep gratitude to nurse Stacy Brown whose calm presence and medical experience brought peace to his final moments. Our family has been long blessed by Stacy’s friendship, and her immeasurable gift will be honored by our commitment to follow Bob and Marilyn’s example of helping others whenever possible.  

Cote was a caring husband and father whose gruff demeanor hid the heart of a true softie. He was affectionately called Poppa, Grampa Coyote, Wild Bob, the Silver Fox, and Uncle Full of Beer, and was known for his sharp wit and good humor. 

Family and friends will remember him hosting clam boils, perfecting his wiener sauce recipe, shooting guns, playing cards, and restoring antique pendulum and wind-up clocks. Bob’s quest to replicate the classic “3 all the way” Rhode Island wiener in the Coney Island System style was featured as “Bob’s Dog,” a signature dish on the menu of Haute Dogs Restaurant.  

Born in Fall River MA on August 4, 1936, Cote was the oldest of three children of the late Roger and Irene (Dionne) Cote. In his youth, Bob was a caddy at the Metacomet Golf Course, worked with his uncle as a butcher at A&P Grocery, and maintained the truck fleet for a dairy creamery. 

After graduating from East Providence High School in 1954, he was accepted to the US Air Force flight school. However, due to his father’s death, he opted instead to attend technical college. At age 19, he was the youngest person to be awarded his Radio Telephone Operator License (First Class) from the Federal Communications Commission in 1955. 

He graduated from the Rhode Island Radio School in 1956 with degree certificates in both radio and television operation. Bob served in the US Army Reserves and was called up to active duty four times, including being stationed at Fort Knox. He was an excellent marksman, representing the Army in tournaments on both the rifle and pistol teams. He was a proud member of the American Legion, the NRA and the Izaak Walton League.  

Cote started his professional career with IBM, launched his own printing & design company specializing in blueprints called The Sonic Mode Center, then worked at Xerox Corporation for almost 30 years. He retired in 1995 as one of the most experienced and highly regarded Instructor Analysts at the Xerox International Training Center in Leesburg VA. 

After retirement, he opened the Electronic Equipment Exchange (fondly known as “Bob’s Chop Shop”), a computer repair shop on historic 21st Street in Purcellville.  

He married his high school sweetheart Marilyn Helen Thayer on June 20, 1958, and together they raised six children. They lived in most of the New England states and Kentucky before settling in Purcellville in 1979. 

Cote was a devout Catholic and parishioner at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. For their 59th wedding anniversary (their last celebrated together), Bob and Marilyn were honored with a pew at St. Francis as a family gift and its location marks Cote’s favorite place to pray in the sanctuary. For the past twenty years, the Cote’s spent winters in St. Petersburg FL and made wonderful friends in the Melody Gardens community and Holy Cross Catholic Church.  

Cote is survived by his six children: Theresa Murphy, Robert W. Cote, Mary (Clifford) Coggin, Michael (Lorri) Cote, Tina (Robert Smith) Cote and Rebecca (Brad) Gladstone. He is survived by nineteen grandchildren: Kelly Murphy; Christopher, Cory & Cote Coggin; Marshall & Karmen Alexander; Scott, Laura, Jennifer, Heather, Ethan & Emma Cote; Kayla, Taryn & Thayer Cote Smith; Hunter Almond; Chase Shiring; MacKenzie & Aideendale Yeatts; and two great grandchildren, Owen and Macklin. He is also survived by his sister, Pauline Cote Kennedy of Sarasota FL. He was preceded in death by his parents Roger and Irene, his beloved wife Marilyn, son Roger, brother Richard and son-in-law Thomas Murphy.  

A funeral mass celebrating Bob’s life will be held on June 19, 2021 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church at 37730 St. Francis Court, Purcellville VA. Interment will be in section 11 of Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 550 Wampanoag Trail, Riverside, East Providence RI. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in his honor to the charity of your choice, or to one that supports US veterans. Please view his obituary and express condolences online at Hall Funeral Home  

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