Robert J. Nicoletti, M.D. – extraordinary husband, father, father-in-law, papa, son, brother, uncle, friend and physician. Robert J. Nicoletti, M.D., age 74, entered into eternal rest on September 19, 2022, after bravely battling Alzheimer’s since 2015 and stage IV colon cancer since 2016. Born in Brooklyn, New York on September 29, 1947, Robert spent his childhood in Bedford Stuyvesant hanging out with the neighborhood kids, playing stick ball in the streets and developing a lifelong love for the New York Yankees and Giants. It was during these early childhood years that he met the love of his life, Francine (Corbo), by whom he is survived. Robert and Francine lived on the same block, and while the group of kids that hung around together was more than forty friends, Robert and Francine became the best of friends from an early age. On June 6, 1970, Robert and Francine were married and soon they were off to Italy, where Robert pursued his medical degree at the prestigious University of Bologna. In 1977, Robert, now Dr. Nicoletti, returned to the United States and completed his residency at Staten Island University Hospital. It was during these years that Robert and Francine started their family, welcoming their first daughter, Nicole, in 1973, followed by Jamee in 1976, Heather in 1978, and their only son, Robert, in 1979. Robert’s dream from childhood was to become a physician. During his residency he realized his passion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which he proudly specialized in for 38 years, delivering over 4,000 babies. While working at Glen Cove Hospital, on the north shore of Long Island, Robert had the distinct privilege and pleasure of overseeing the obstetric and gynecological residents, helping to prepare a new generation of specialities to continue his legacy of love for bringing life into the world. Over the course of his career, he held privileges in Colorado and New York, retiring from New York in 2015 and relocating to sunny Scottsdale, AZ. Robert is preceded in death by his father and mother, Joseph and Adeline Nicoletti, and his father and mother-in-law, Rocco and Rose Corbo. He is survived by his best friend, soul mate and wife, Francine, as well as his children, Nicole Williams (Chris), Jamee, Heather Pierse (Joseph), and Robert (Erin). His role as Papa brought him the most pride and joy, and the love he had for his grandchildren changed the lives and hearts of those who love him most and best: Joseph, Ella, Rocco, Daisy, Penny and Leo. As his titles transitioned from husband to doctor to dad to papa, his love of God, family, Mickey Mouse and Christmas only deepened. He loved Sunday dinners, opening his home to whomever was alone on a holiday or just needed some good company and delicious food. Having as many people at the table was a constant source of pride and joy for him. He made the absolute best barbecue sauce and his ribs were out of this world! Rain or shine he would be at the barbecue on a summer day, from morning till evening, preparing a delicious feast. As the holidays rolled in, he spent Thanksgiving basting the turkey and offering gratitude for all he had and come Friday morning, the entire family was commissioned to decorate our home for Christmas. Once it was all done, it was magical! Robert enjoyed most things in life, as long as he was sharing it with Fran and when possible, his children, but even more so with his grandchildren. His love lives on in each of us.
Posted online on September 23, 2022
Published in The Arizona Republic