Robert L. Reisner III

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Robert L. Reisner III


Robert Reisner was a proverbial homebody.

There was nothing the single, 29-year-old school bus driver liked more than coming home from work to the apartment in Coventry he shared with his mother. He cooked tacos for dinner, played video games and watched the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins on TV. He even liked to read the newspaper aloud to his dog, Aggie.

Well, there was one thing he liked as much. Going to heavy metal concerts, especially those big-hair bands of the '80s, the ones that keep reuniting and rocking year after year. His fondness for these bands of his youth often took him to The Station.

"He would go by himself. As soon as heard about a show, he would go buy a ticket," his younger brother, Ralph, recalled yesterday as family members gathered at his apartment on Providence Street, in West Warwick, just a couple of miles from the burned-down nightclub.

Not that Robert wouldn't try to recruit family members to go with him to the concerts. He asked several of them to see Great White on the last night of his life. None could go. A couple of years ago, he treated his brothers and their spouses to tickets for a farewell KISS concert in Providence.

That was Robert, always doing nice things for others, his family says. He would go one, two, sometimes three times a day to buy iced coffee at Dunkin' Donuts, and he would always bring some back for everyone else.

"He was very caring. He cared for everybody," said his mother, Judy O'Brien, who shared her apartment on Main Street with her oldest son. She is divorced from his father, Robert Reisner, of New York.

The family has endured some difficult times, O'Brien says. As a single mother, she had to raise her three boys without much money. Then there was Robert's health. He suffered from extreme bouts of fatigue and fever. By the time he was 11, he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes he had to use a wheelchair.

"I used to have to carry him," O'Brien says.

Robert grew up in Scituate, but stopped going to school in the 11th grade. He delivered pizza for several different West Bay businesses, including Domino's, and had been promoted to some managerial positions. His mother says he always liked driving because it was easier on his bad leg than jobs that required standing.

A couple of months ago, he began driving school buses for Laidlaw in East Providence.

"The kids loved him. He worked so hard for it," O'Brien says. "It's what he really liked."

That and the rock bands pictured in the posters adorning the walls of their apartment. They hang near the pull-out sofa where he slept.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

-- Journal staff writer Richard Salit


Born in Providence, a son of Judy (Heeks) O'Brien of West Warwick and Robert L. Reisner II of New York state, he had lived in West Warwick for most of his life. He moved to Coventry two years ago.

Mr. Reisner had been working as a bus driver for Laidlaw Bus Co. of West Warwick.

He had earned his high school equivalency degree and was a graduate of New England Tractor Trailer Training, in Pawtucket.

Besides his parents, he leaves two brothers, Ralph Reisner of West Warwick and Corey Reisner of Providence; his maternal grandparents, Nancy (Hopkins) Quental of Warwick and Ralph Heeks of West Warwick; and several aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews.

Burial occured at Greenwood Cemetery, West Warwick.

source Providence Journal


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