Robert Murray Pankin

February 7, 1935March 27, 2021

Robert Murray Pankin, 86, passed away March 27, 2021 in Rhode Island Hospital. He is survived by Carla Weiss, his wife of 33 years. He is also survived by three sons, Sanford, Harris and David, his granddaughter, Rachel Pankin; his brother, Mark Pankin and his wife Mary Faith.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was the son of the late William and Kate (Torgman) Pankin. The family relocated to Detroit, Michigan in 1947. After serving in Germany during the Korean War, he attended Wayne State University where he received his bachelor’s degree. He received his Master’s and Ph.D in Sociology at Ohio State University and then Perdue. He taught at various colleges including three years at the University of Hong Kong, and more recently Providence College. His specialty was sociology of sport and edited a book on the topic.

Bob was a lifelong lover of baseball, rooting for the Detroit Tigers and both the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was an aficionado of jazz and played the trumpet. He also played tennis and went on bicycle tours and participated in the century and half-century tours. He was an accomplished chef and spent two years learning to cook at the Culinary Institute of America.

He and his wife traveled widely and visited many of the National Parks, New Zealand, Iceland, two walking tours of Ireland, and every February, Aruba.

Donations may be made in Bob’s memory to Doctors without Borders at or the National Parks Foundation at

His funeral and burial will be private.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Robert Murray Pankin

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