Robert Anthony Cortese, Sr., of Little Rock, was born in Rockford, IL on December 22, 1939, and died on May 22, 2010. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Cortese and Giovanna Balsam Cortese, who eventually moved to Wye Mountain-Little Italy in northern Pulaski County where Robert was raised and where he graduated from High School.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years Kathleen McEuen, two children Deborah Cortese and Robert A. “BJ” Cortese, Jr. and his wife Kim, his sister Marianne Langston and her husband John and two grandsons, Robert and Ricky Cortese. Other survivors are his sister-in-law Alta Myers, brother-in-law Kenneth McEuen and his wife Shirley, multiple nieces and nephews.
Robert volunteered in the United States Army in 1959, and served in Turkey as an Army Security Agent. After honorably serving his enlistment, he returned to Little Rock and apprenticed as an electrician. After making journeyman, he eventually started his own company, RELCO Electrical Contractors, and gained the recognition of his peers to ultimately become President of the National Electrical Contractors Association.
Robert is remembered most among family and friends as the man who showed up to work whenever someone was in need whether it was aiding in a move, repairing any kind of damage or simply being there to offer comfort. When a beloved niece passed away in her prime, he rewired the church she attended in her memory.
Funeral services will be 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home Chapel, (501)224-8300. Interment will be at Pinecrest Memorial Park.
The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Monday, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Hospice Home Care, 1501 N. University, Little Rock, AR 72207 or to the charity of your choice.