Robert Fain

Dateline: North Scituate

Fain, Robert, 76, died Saturday, July 18, 2020 at home. Born in Providence, a son of the late Daniel and Ruth (Max) Fain, he had lived in North Scituate, previously living in Providence. He was a career long social worker for the state of RI, retiring over 10 years ago. He was deeply committed to social issues including fair and affordable housing, equal rights, and he donated regularly to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Robert was the founder of Stop Wasting Abandoned Property (S.W.A.P.).

He was the brother of the late Gilbert and Herbert Fain. He leaves several nieces, nephews, and cousins, including Sandi, Steven, Mitchell, Howard, Marc, and Jerry Fain, Terri Ciolfi, and Roberta Arsac.

Please direct any donations to:


Stop Wasting Abandoned Property

c/o Carol Varden

439 Pine St.

Providence, RI 02907

( All donations will be acknowledged )


  1. Donna Broman Goldstein
    Jul 23, 2020

    I am sorry to learn of the passing of Robert. My mother, Rose Cohen Max Broman, always spoke lovingly about her Aunt Ruth and her sons. May they all Rest In Peace.

  2. Stanley Freedman
    Jul 24, 2020

    Missing Bob at out Thursday Talmud
    class. Nice fellow. RIP

  3. Ann Patrick
    Jul 25, 2020

    It will be sad not to see Robert at the musical events he over so much.

  4. Nick & Sally Easton
    Jul 26, 2020

    Robert was an important and much loved part of our family. He started SWAP with myself and my mother in law, Berta Phillips, but more than anyone he remained committed to the organization and stayed with it all his life. He was with us in endless family parties and vacations and we loved him and will cherish many happy memories. Love you, Robert.

  5. Mike & Gloria Church
    Jul 26, 2020

    We were so sad to hear of Bob’s passing. We had spent many many Christmas eves with him at our friends house. It was a small group of people but we all exchanged gifts and Bob loved taking part in that. Gifts from Bob ranged from wonderful artists prints, hand blown glass globes, vases and food stuff from Job Lot. It was all wonderfull! We will miss his company and conversations . May God keep him close.

  6. Stephen Graham
    Jul 26, 2020

    I’m very sorry to hear of Robert’s passing. I came to know Robert through our mutual love of local music, particularly that of Chris Turner, Marty Ballou and the late Thom Enright. We met in early 2000 while listening to them play at their weekly gig at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence. We spent many a night thereafter listening to other local bands like the Supercheif Trio and Becky Chace, among others. Many of the venues we went to, such as The High Hat, the Barnsider, and Tazza, are gone now as well but live vividly in my memory. Indeed, I can remember Robert seated in each of them. I have many fond memories of Robert succinctly describing the nuances of a particular song or of a musician’s style. He had a way of seeing things that you didn’t see yourself even though you were right next to him. I also remember helping him with a computer I gave him but he didn’t take to that very well. He was old school about technology. But I liked that too because he knew what he wanted.

    We also served together on the board of the George Wiley Center, with Henry Shelton as director and I, as president. Robert was deeply committed to social justice and community organizing. He identified with the injustices of our system and wanted to empower the victims as much as he could. That board had many great people on it and Robert fit right in, adding immensely to the work with his insight and community knowledge.

    I will miss Robert’s sardonic smile and caring personality. My condolences to his family and friends.

    RIP my friend, you did good.

  7. Margaret Chevian
    Jul 26, 2020

    So sad about my dear friend Robert – we shared interests in gardens and house plants, music – live and recorded, Providence politics, people kind. I’ve known Robert since the mid 1970′s probably; we spent many a wonderful night eating pizza, drinking wine and discussing everything and anything.

    Also as mentioned above he was a happy participant in our Christmas Eve get togethers for many years – always thoughtful and whimsical gifts.

    I will miss those wonderful let’s solve the world’s problems sessions but will especially miss you Robert. Rest in eternal peace

  8. Carol Scott
    Jul 27, 2020

    So sad to know that he has gone. We went back some 40 plus years and shared interests in art, music, photography and as amateur mycologists. In recent years, he became pretty solitary and though I often tried to reach out, we were never able to connect. I am so sorry we didn’t do so. Please accept my sympathy.

  9. Susan Paris Greenberg
    May 22, 2022

    Let me introduce myself. “Bobby” and I were best friends from early childhood through high school. We “shared” a dog, “Punchie,”as children, and we were always together. We attended prom together, not as boyfriend and girlfriend but as friends. I went away to college in Cleveland, Ohio in 1963, married Bob Greenberg in 1964, and moved to Rochester, NY in 1966. I have lived in upstate NY ever since. Bob and I had one child, a son, Bill. Bill has been married and divorced twice and currently lives with me. I have a 19 year old granddaughter and a 14 year old grandson. Bobby and I lost touch with each other after I married, but I never forgot him. I was a clinical social worker from 1968 until I retired in 2018 at the age of 73. My husband passed away in 2009.
    I tried to find Bobby in 2020, only to find out that he had passed away. I was intrigued to learn that he had also been a social worker, although that didn’t surprise me. I surmise that he never married. I was saddened to learn about his passing.

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