Generally, when doing genealogy one must rely on the preponderance of evidence, rather than emphasizing every single line.I would put more emphasis on the age, name, parents names, and birthplaces on the 1916 census, rather than "laborer."
The death certificate is not on line, the record I found was accessed here http://www.italiangen.org/NYCDeathSearch.asphttp://www.italiangen.org/NYCDeathSearch.asp You would need to order the death certificate. If it is the Robert from the almshouse, it likely will not have more information than the 1916 census, as I'm sure they provided the information.
I believe that Robert and Pauline were most likely divorced between 1890-1900.I think he most likely remarried, and subsequently separated.Clearly Robert W. Hanington was alive when his sister Julia wrote her will (1914-1915), as he is named in it.
Women often listed themselves as widows when they were divorced, as divorce carried a stigma until recently.