It is with great sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Robert “Bob” Cataldo, President of Cataldo Ambulance Service, Inc.
Bob was a past president of the Somerville Kiwanis Club and long time member of Somerville’s Winter Hill Yacht Club.
Bob Cataldo was most generous and active in the Somerville community.
Funeral Service Information:
CATALDO, Robert D. “Bob” Founder, Cataldo Ambulance April 25, 1943 – March 31, 2019, following a courageous battle with Leukemia. Robert, “Bob”, was born and raised in Everett, MA, the only son of Sabino and Mary Lou Cataldo. He was one of three children and grew up in a very modest area of Everett, along with his sisters Francine and Donna. Robert was never afraid to share stories of his challenging youth days and remembered fondly “growing up on the line”, a reference the neighborhoods close proximity to nearby Chelsea, it was a place where being tough was a necessity. By all accounts, Bob rose to the challenges of the neighborhood and learned many hard life lessons along the way. Although he was quite street smart, he was not particularly interested in academics. He chose to enroll in the local vocational high school and there he found his strong mechanical abilities. In 1958 Bob met Diana Della Piana of Malden. Ironically, the two chose to drag race each other down Revere Beach Parkway. As fate would have it, Diana won the race but Bob won Diana’s heart. Bob always joked that Diana had a big V8 and he had a total “crap box”. Bob joined the United States Air Force in 1959, and the couple eventually married in 1963. Shortly thereafter, Bob and Diana moved to Murphysboro, Tennessee. The couple remained there until Bob was honorably discharged in 1965. Bobs maintained the passion for the U.S. Armed Services and garnered the deepest respect for those that served in defense of the country. In 1968, the couple gave birth to their only son Dennis whom they named after Diana’s brother, Dennis, who had passed away in 1966 at the age of 22. In 1977, Bob started a new chapter in his life, and he did so with his lifelong partner Diana. The two opened the doors of Somerville Ambulance Service in August of that year. The company proved very challenging, but was well run under their close stewardship and desire to succeed. For them, providing quality patient care and exceptional service was always the key measure of success. The company continued to grow, and eventually the name was changed to Cataldo Ambulance Service. Today, 42 years later, the Cataldo Ambulance is well known and recognized as an industry leader in providing all levels of medical transportation. Bob had an engaging personality. He loved life and wanted all around him to be part of it. He truly enjoyed spending time with people, and he cherished the opportunity to assist others. He was a longtime member and Past President of Kiwanis Club International. He was engaged in many community initiatives and he served on the Board for a number of local institutions. Later in life, he was able to rekindle his passion for the military and he became a proud member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. Bob enjoyed being out on the water, he was a proud boat owner and member of the Winer Hill Yacht Club in Somerville. Bob was an avid golfer and longtime member of Bellevue Country Club in Melrose. Bob enjoyed spending time with his entire family. He and Diana, who was always by his side, were frequently around to visit and enjoy the family. He was a remarkable man, always available to lend a hand or assist the family in any way he could. He and Dennis had a great relationship, and Bob was very proud of his son, something he never missed an opportunity to express to anyone who would listen. Bob was always at the ready to do any activity with Christine, Dennis and the boys. He was the very proud Papa to Brady, Ryan and Tyler; he loved his grandsons so very much. He enjoyed spending time with the three boys and relished the opportunity to tell them stories or talk with them about any facet of life. He was a father figure to his niece Niki and husband Frank, along with their two boys Grayson and Cooper. More than all else, Bob was a devoted and caring husband. He and Diana spent 60 years together, married for 56 years of them. They spent time in Florida and traveled frequently to a number of their favorite places. As husband and wife, they wrote a storybook tale. As business partners, they lived the American dream. As a husband, parent, grandparent, relative and friend, Bob will long be remembered as a true friend and one really great guy. The Funeral will be held from the A. J. Spadafora Funeral Home, 865 Main Street, MALDEN, on Friday, April 5th at 9:00am followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Joseph’s Church, 770 Salem Street, Malden at 10:00am. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting Hours will be held at the funeral home on Thursday from 3-8pm. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to, Mass General Cancer Center, giving.massgeneral.org Spadafora Funeral Home 781-324-8680
Published in The Boston Globe on Apr. 3, 2019