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Judge Arthur N. Votolato

Judge Arthur N. Votolato Obituary
Retired Bankruptcy Judge Arthur N. Votolato, 86 passed away on Sunday, May 28, 2017. Earlier in the month, he celebrated the wonderful honor of being inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. While too ill to attend the ceremony in person, his daughters Dacia and Hera brought his induction memorabilia to him and shared this special honor with their father.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he was the son of the late Arthur N. ("Pop Pop") Votolato and Mary ("Honey") Tavani. He had a passion for flying and was always gracious in inviting any willing passengers to accompany him on quests for the best lunches at local airports. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Boston University School of Law. He was sworn into the Rhode Island Bar in 1956 and joined his father in the practice of law. He ran for Rhode Island Attorney General in 1962, and after losing to the incumbent, he became the Freeway Property Acquisition Coordinator at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. He was Chief Counsel in charge of eminent domain and condemnation litigation.
In 1968, Arthur was appointed as the first United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Rhode Island. He served continuously for 44 years, retiring in 2012. When he retired, he was the longest sitting bankruptcy judge with continuous service in the country. Anyone who came before Judge Votolato instantly knew he was different. He entered the courtroom without a robe, and instead of hearing the usual mantra "All Rise", all participants were asked to remain seated. He was the people's judge. He dispensed with formalities to demonstrate he was no different than those who appeared before him. Members of the bar often remarked that win or lose, you always felt as though you had your day in court before Judge Votolato because he was attentive, polite and respectful. He oversaw the bankruptcy of some notable Rhode Island Institutions, including, Almac's, Rocky Point Amusement Park, Narragansett Clothing, Newport Creamery, American Shipyard, Bess Eaton Donut, and Twin River to name a few.
Judge Votolato leaves the two loves of his life—his daughters: Dacia and Hera Votolato. He is also survived by his brother Gregory of the United Kingdom, his sister Dolores ("Bubbles") Barchi of Connecticut and several nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service in Celebration of the Life of Judge Arthur N. Votolato will be held on Friday, June 2 at 4:00 PM (doors open and guest book will be available for signing starting at 3:15 PM), East Greenwich United Methodist Church, 1558 South County Trail, East Greenwich, RI 02818, with a reception to follow. Interment will occur on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 11:30AM at St. Ann's Cemetery in Cranston, Rhode Island. Relatives and friends who are attending the interment are asked to meet at "WOODLAWN" Funeral Home 600 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston at 10:30 AM. Kindly omit flowers. Donations in Judge Votolato's memory may be made to: The Traumatic Brain Injury Association (www.biari.org) or the International OCD Foundation (www.iocdf.org). Please share memories at
Published in The Providence Journal on May 31, 2017
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