I lost my brother to COVID-19
Roberto Tadeo Donaldson, 55, died unexpectedly from COVID-19 complications on Friday, July 24, 2020. His wife of 19 years, Guillermina (Guille) of Guanajuato, Mexico, was by his side.
Roberto was born September 6, 1964 in Mobile, Alabama, and grew up in Lubbock, Texas. He enjoyed playing football and wrestling in school, and ran a lawn business with his beloved brother and best friend, Francisco, during summer breaks. Roberto was a delight from a very young age. He radiated joy with his smile and outgoing personality. He never knew a stranger. Growing up he did odd jobs to help provide for his family. These experiences instilled a strong work ethic that he held dear all of his life.
Roberto was very proud to have attended the University of Texas at Austin and was president of the UT Entrepreneurs’ Club. For many years, Roberto was deeply involved with the college textbook business, culminating with his own store, R&R University Bookstore, which reflected his strong entrepreneurial spirit and determination.
Following the emergence of online bookstores, Roberto broadened his business opportunities to include auto sales, life coach consultant, and most recently real-estate agent.
Roberto was an avid UT football fan, loved having cookouts with friends and family and engaging in lively political debates. He enjoyed his weekend walks around Memorial Park in Houston and thought an ideal vacation was a road trip visiting extended family. He and Guille often traveled to Mexico to visit her relatives, and always brought books, clothing and other items for the needy of her hometown. He loved helping others and gave generously of whatever he had. It can resolutely be said and confirmed by all who knew him that he was an eternal light of kindness, generosity and optimism. He always had a smile on his face and a word of encouragement to those around him.
Roberto lived a life filled with love of family, friends and community. He was a very devoted son and was always concerned with his parents’ well-being. He was especially close to his mama, Luisa, and really loved her cooking. He would drive for hours just to have one of her meals. Roberto also shared many interests with his father, James, to include swimming and going to the beach, as well as many good times working in the bookstore together. Furthermore, Roberto and his brother, Francisco, always maintained a very close and special bond. One of their favorite past times was enjoying a good steak, fine wine and cigar together while talking for hours about life. He was godfather to Francisco’s daughter, Genevieve, whom he loved as if she were his own.
Another constant of Roberto’s is that he always encouraged others to follow their dreams. Two years ago, he reaffirmed his commitment to Christ and happily shared with others his reliance on his faith to get him through tough times.
Besides Guille and her family, Roberto will be extremely missed by his parents, James and Luisa Donaldson; brother and sister-in-law, Francisco and Jeanne Marie Donaldson; sister and sister-in-law, Dr. Micaela Wexler and Zivile Nauronyte; sister, Elizabeth Peterson; sister and brother-in-law, Araceli and Frank Hughes, as well as 14 nieces and nephews, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends. Lastly, as an avid animal lover, Roberto will also be missed by his three dogs.
He will forever be in our hearts and minds. Given the current pandemic, a memorial celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
I lost my brother to COVID-19