Neil Barry Roiter, 64, of Mattapoisett, passed away at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Sunday, May 5, in the mid-afternoon. He is predeceased by his father, Gordon. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Gwendolyn (Friss), daughter, Tess, and son, Andrew. He is also survived by his mother, Shirley, his sister Mindy, brother, Robby, and sister, Debby, mother-in-law, Faith Friss, as well as many nieces and nephews. The cousins he grew up with held a special place in his heart. Neil treasured his family, and was always there to share in holiday celebrations and lend a hand to anyone who needed him.
Neil is loved deeply by his friends and family, who will keep his memory alive each day.
A stalwart defender of truth, Neil lived in New York, and in Massachusetts. He was a career journalist for several publications, The Standard Times of New Bedford for seventeen years, where he was known for accurate reporting, pithy writing, and impeccable ethics. His experience in the information security field, most recently working for Corero Network Security in Hudson, MA, made him one of the most well-respected technology journalists in the nation. He and his wife, also a career journalist, inspired their son to enter a life as a reporter; he now works as an arts journalist in Southern Vermont.
Neil loved music and made it part of his daily life, whether Wagner, Beethoven or Joplin, his relationship to music never waned and was something he passed onto his children. Nighttime renditions of “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral,” inspired his daughter’s own love affair with singing. Listening to her belt out a show tune or chill a room with a haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” was one of Neil’s favorite pastimes. Tess is entering her sophomore year at the Hart School of Music for a degree in performing arts management.
Neil was an avid baseball fan from the age of 9. His hometown Brooklyn Dodgers leaving for LA as he began his life-long love of the sport left him rooting for the New York Yankees. A passionate fan, Neil watched as many games as possible and memorized statistics during times both good and bad. Neil and Gwendolyn were best friends, who respected each other, encouraged each other’s work and took great pleasure in simply being together. At their wedding, on June 29, 1986, they vowed to be together forever, saying “This is my beloved and this is my friend.”
He also loved cats, providing a home for several over the decades, most recently Espion and Abigail, and offering Gwendolyn a kitten the day they met.
His Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday at 12 noon in Temple Beth El 385, High Street, Fall River, MA. Relatives and friends are invited to attend, burial to follow in Temple Beth El Cemetery in Fall River, MA. Memorial Observance will be held on Thursday from 4-7pm and Friday from 1-4pm at the family home: 7 Barlow Lane, Mattapoisett, MA.
Memorial donations in his memory may be made to benefit his children’s future education expenses, in c/o Gwendolyn J. Roiter, 7 Barlow Lane, Mattapoisett, MA 02739.