Robert Devito – Rest In Peace

I was 19 or 20 when I met Bob. He came to visit my friend Terry at the house we shared off-campus in Oneonta. Bob was older than us and, if not wiser, certainly more experienced than we were and not shy about sharing the benefits of his experience. Maybe that’s what wisdom is.

He was different. Not just from me and my friends, but from everyone else I’ve met.


Bob was an inspiration to me in a way that no one else I’ve ever know was – he was an artist. I know other artists but I’ve never known another one who was strong enough to say “fuck you” to the rest of the working world and to live on the money he made from his art. I haven’t been that strong or that talented.




Mark Twain said, “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” The cats all vouched for Bob as long as I knew him, which was over 30 years. Animals and children recognize goodness in a person, and they all liked Bob.

Bob’s heart was as big as his talent, and his spirit is even bigger. When I had nowhere to live he let me sleep on his sofa. I don’t remember ever seeing him angry or hateful, though I saw him live through things that gave him an easy excuse to be either. The last time I talked to him he said he was feeling stronger. I always felt stronger after talking with him, just knowing that he was there.

5 responses to “Robert Devito – Rest In Peace”

  1. meant a loft in tribeca. met him at a show in albany and we spoke on the phone a number of times. just tried to contact him for a show of new york city artists in march and found he passed away.
    a very talented man. he will be missed.


    • when i found out that bob passed away i was shocked. we met in jones beach l.i and became friends. he gave me rides rides back to queens, and i visit him few times. i was also invited to his sister chrismas parties. i am still shocked, i refuse to believe that bob is not with us. please let me know what was the reason for his death. i am in facebook: tzvi ben aretz or via facebook : tzvi ben aretz


      • Sorry for the delay getting back to you – I don’t check this site a lot. It is still very sad to think that Bob is gone. He died of cancer. I think it started in his brain and spread to other organs. His partner Terrence was with him to the end. I have 6 of Bob’s pieces in my apartment and so I am reminded of him – his talent and his kindness – every day.


  2. Bob is a great man with a loving kind spirit. I met at the Cross Island YMCA in Queens I met Bob at the age of 16 and we started hanging out together when I was between the ages of 18-22. I miss Bob so much the last time I saw him I gave a get well soon card. Bobby made beautiful art work and I wanted Bobby to make one for me so much but never got around to this for me. He was very emotionally nurturing and loving. Sometimes would come and get me from Queensborough Community College after my courses were done and spend time together and he always encouraged me to get the best grades I could in school. Bobby would be so proud to know I got my associate’s degree from Queensborough on June 3, 2016 and then transferred and got my Bachelor’s from Lehman College May 30, 2019. He passed away shortly before my Community College ceremony I will miss Bobby and he will forever be in my heart. Rest in Peace buddy you will be missed very much. Love Julian

    Liked by 1 person

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