Roberta Mudge Humble was born on August 5, 1946, to Robert and Claire (nee Wordell) Mudge of Westerly. Roberta soon exhibited a talent for writing when, as an elementary school student, she composed articles and poems for the school newspaper.
Roberta developed other skills as well. When she was fourteen, she became the “youngest antiques dealer” in the state. With her father Robert as teacher, she learned how to refinish furniture and spent every Saturday displaying her wares for potential customers.
A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she received her B.A. and M.A. in English; she later studied at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities earning additional credits.
In 1970, Roberta further honed her skills when she became a technical writing and oral communications instructor at Rhode Island Junior College (renamed Community College of Rhode Island in 1980). In 1985, CCRI President Edward Liston, asked her to represent the institution at Fort Still, Oklahoma. At this turning point in her life, Roberta was “inspired to join an organization which supported the Guard & Reserve in Rhode Island.” At Fort Still, Roberta reviewed military operations and transferred her newfound knowledge to her beloved Westerly, where she vowed to restore its neglected 1901 Armory.
Achieving what few could, she assembled forces throughout the state and prepared for battle. In 1992, the Rhode Island National Guard, the editor and staff of The Westerly Sun, and friends and relations, she established the Westerly Armory Restoration, Inc. Since then, she has organized Rhode Island Historic Armory Week, served as a member and then Commander of the Military Order of Foreign Wars, became the first woman president of the Rotary Clubs of North Kingstown, and the East Coast. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Warwick Historical Society since 2017.
The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Roberta Mudge Humble embodies the best of what Rhode Island has to offer. In 2018, she was recognized for her service by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. She also received The Education and Advocacy Award in 2001 from the State Preservation Commission for her work with the state armories, the Feinstein Merit Award from the Rhode Island Foundation in 2003 and an outstanding community service award from the Junior League of Rhode Island in 2007. She served as Grand Marshal in the Westerly Columbus Day Parade in 2008.
Additionally, Roberta has written several books and games for adults and children, which emphasize Rhode Island’s special qualities as a state. The most well- known, A Right to Crow: A Look at Rhode Island’s Firsts, Bests & Uniques, published in 2006, has received wide notice. Mark Patinkin of The Providence Journal has called it his “favorite Rhode Island book.”
Roberta Mudge Humble is most deserving of induction into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame because of her “significant” and noteworthy contributions to Rhode Island.
She currently resides in Warwick with her three cockatoos, two cockatiels, and one Vasa parrot.