Rob Moulton at the annual family Thanksgiving football game. Below, shaking hands with Richard Alcombright after a mayoral debate in 2013.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Robert R. Moulton Jr., a longtime civic leader and local businessman died Thursday, May 4, at Berkshire Medical Center after a short battle with cancer.
Moulton was elected six times to the City Council — taking a few years between his service — and once to the School Committee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor twice, in 2013 and 2017.
The first time he ran for mayor was against Richard Alcombright, with whom he'd also served on the City Council.
Alcombright said he was saddened to hear the news, noting that he has known the entire Moulton family since he was a kid growing up in Blackinton.
"Rob was raised to understand and appreciate the values found in faith, family and friends and his commitment to all of those things was always evident," he said. "Grounded in the importance of community, Rob was a highly respected businessman, a city councilor, and his work for many years leading the North Adams Ambulance Service, both as an EMT and president."
Moulton's family has owned and operated Moulton's Spectacle Shoppe for three generations in North Adams and in Bennington, Vt., where Moulton has worked for 40 years.
"I knew Rob as a man who loved his family and his friends. He was ever attendant to all he knew and very gracious with his time and talent," the former mayor continued. "And while at times, we could be adversaries on city issues, I knew that whatever he did, whatever he believed, he did so with all of his energy and with absolute best intentions for those he served.
"I have been truly blessed to know him, to know his family, and to have been able to call him my friend."
He was very active in the Parish of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, where he served on the Parish Council and its Finance Committee.
Moulton became involved as an emergency medical technician in the 1970s and served on the board of directors of Northern Berkshire EMS for more 30 years, a portion of which he was president. During his tenure, the ambulance expanded its headquarters and area of service and merged with Village Ambulance Service.
Paul Ethier, current president of the board, said Moulton had been a "positive influence" during his more than 40 years of involvement with the ambulance for more than 40 years and had been a "positive influence."
"Bob truly loved EMS and really enjoyed being part of North Adams Ambulance Service," he said. "He was proud of all that was accomplished through the years, most recently the merger with Village Ambulance that created Northern Berkshire EMS and Northern Berkshire Transport."
As president, Moulton helped grow the service into what it is today, he said.
The ribbon cutting for the new addition on what was then North Adams Ambulance Service.
"Bob was part of the vision that took our small-town ambulance service and developed it into a regional service, employing 90 people and providing paramedic level service to nine communities in Northern Berkshire and Southern Vermont," he said.
"If you've ever had the unfortunate need to call an ambulance in your life, you can be sure it was because of something Bob did that an ambulance with highly trained EMTs and paramedics showed up and provided you with exceptional pre-hospital care."
Moulton served four terms during the tenure of Mayor John Barrett III. Now state representative for North Berkshire, Barrett said although he and Moulton had nothing in common politically, he always respected his commitment to the city.
"He was a very important part of this community in so many ways. The volunteerism he was part of and the generosity that he showed over the years," Barrett said. "He did a lot of good things for the community that a lot of people never knew about."
Moulton also hosted a public access show "Let's Talk About It" broadcasted on Northern Berkshire Community Television with then fellow Councilor Ronald Boucher.
"They were some great times and we had a lot of years together," Boucher said. "I knew him since childhood. He was a pillar in this community and was involved in a lot of things people don't even know about."
Boucher said Moulton was his campaign manager when he ran for mayor in 2011. he also recalled many trips with Moulton including one to Alaska.
He said when he thinks about Moulton he recalls his honesty
"One thing I can say about Bob Moulton is, as the old saying goes, he was a man's man. He had his priorities straight in life and you always knew where he was coming from," he said. "He didn't tell you what you wanted to hear; he told you what he felt."
"Family was always first, and he enjoyed life. We had a lot of good times together."
A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. Burial will follow in the family plot in Southview Cemetery.
Calling hours will be on Wednesday, May 10, from 4-7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. Donations may be made to the RMA Foundation and the Jimmy Fund of Berkshire County through Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Homes, Central Chapel, 74 Marshall St., North Adams, MA 01247.