The Rev. Robert Couto, 68, of Londonderry died Dec. 10, 2014 in his home in Londonderry.
He was born in New Bedford, Mass., on June 30, 1946, a son of the late Manuel and M. Gilda (Duarte de Mello) Couto.
He had been a resident of Londonderry for the past 15 years, formerly living in Manchester and in New Bedford, Mass.
Prior to attending seminary, Fr. Bob worked at Texas Instruments in Attleboro, Mass. He also worked as a broadcast journalist for a New Bedford, Mass., station, where he interviewed Rep. Hastings Keith and subsequently became his assistant, working in the Congressional District, and in Washington D.C. He later moved to Nashua, where he became a manager for Karten Jewelers. His experience with technology was then used at Ferrofluidics in Nashua, where he became Vice President for Operations and Administration, working to make the company a publically traded entity on Wall Street.
Called to a different kind of life, Fr. Bob applied to study to become a Roman Catholic priest and was assigned by the Diocese of Manchester to St. MaryÕs Seminary in Baltimore, Md. While in Baltimore, he earned a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Holy See and a MasterÕs degree in Divinity.
He worked as an intern and Deacon at Saint Joseph Parish, Cockeysville, Md. Fr. Bob also did special studies in medical ethics and health care ethics, and published papers on the care of the sick and the dying.
He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1996 by the Most Reverend Leo E. OÕNeil, S.T.D., at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Manchester.
Fr. Couto studied at Lesley College and the Northeast Institute of Indiana Tech and completed his ecclesiastical studies at Saint Mary Seminary & University in Baltimore, Md.
Fr. Couto served as associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Nashua, and at Sainte Marie and Sacred Heart Parishes in Manchester. He was appointed pastor of Saint Jude Parish in Londonderry in 1999, where he served until his death.
Fr. Bob was the brother of Marlene Russell and her husband, Michael, of Brockton, Mass.; the uncle of Monica Russell of New York City, N.Y., Melissa Herschman and her partner, Jason Meeker, of North Easton, Mass., and Michele Harrington and her husband, Ryan, of North Easton, Mass.; and the great-uncle of Morgan, Jake and Emma Harrington, and Max and Tess Herschman.
The Rite of Reception of the Body, led by the Rev. Albert Tremblay Jr., took place Dec. 15 at St. Jude Church, Londonderry. He lay in state in the church from 2 to 8 p.m. that day, concluding with Evening Prayer led by the Very Rev. Frederick J. Pennett Jr., Dean of the Rockingham Deanery. On the morning of Dec. 16, he lay in state at St. Jude Church. The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, presided at a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. that day.
Additional calling hours were held Wednesday. Dec. 17, at the Perry Funeral Home, 111 Dartmouth St., New Bedford, Mass., from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by the Rite of Committal at 1 p.m. in St. John’s Cemetery in New Bedford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fr. Robert Couto Memorial Fund, c/o St. Jude Parish, 435 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH 03053. ÊThe Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium of Derry and Londonderry is assisting the family with arrangements. To send a condolence or for more information, visit www.peabodyfuneralhome.com