Passed away on Wednesday morning, the 4th of August 2004. He had just celebrated his 73rd birthday on the 20th of July.
Bob Onstead was born and raised in Ennis, Texas and attended the Ennis High School and North Texas State University. In 1951 and 52, he served in the U.S. Air Force. Bob married Kay Martin Onstead of Houston on the 21st of June, 1952 and raised a beautiful family of five children, Ann, Fran, Randall, Mary and Charles.
After marrying and settling in Houston, he went to work for Randall's Super Valu Stores, which his father-in-law, Blocker Martin, owned. In 1966, Bob and his two partners, R. C. Barclay and Norman Frewin, began Randalls Food Markets with two small stores. The business eventually grew to 116 stores in Houston, Austin, and Dallas, with $2.4 billion in sales and over 18,000 employees.
Shortly after his retirement as Chairman of the Board, the grocery chain was sold to Safeway in 1999.
He was a past Chairman and board member of the Better Business Bureau of Houston, past Chairman and current member of the Board of Visitors of the University Cancer Foundation of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, past Chairman and current board member of the Greater Houston Partnership, past Chairman of the Houston Economic Development Council, past President of the Houston Retail Grocers Association and past board member of the Food Marketing Institute, Texas Commerce Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank and the Methodist Hospital System. He was a Lifetime Director of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and served on the boards of Abilene Christian University, Houston Zoo, Inc. and Lifeline Chaplaincy.
Bob Onstead was an avid sports fan, serving as a limited partner in the Houston Texans organization and being a strong supporter of the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets.
Bob Onstead was preceded in death by his parents, C. O. "Skip" and Mabel Merritt Onstead; a daughter, Frances Washburn; and two sisters-in-law, Frances Martin Garcia and JoAnn Park Onstead. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 52 years, Kay Martin Onstead; their children, Ann Onstead Hill and her husband, Preston, of Sugar Land, Randall Onstead and his wife, Pamela, of Chicago, Mary Onstead of Dallas, and Charles Onstead and his wife, Amy, of Sugar Land; and grandchildren, Jarod Bonine of Houston, Michael Bonine and his wife, Ashley, of Navasota, Katie Tuley and her husband, David, of Cypress, Meggan Hill of Sugar Land, Robert Onstead, III of College Station, Douglas Onstead of Houston, and Chad and Samuel Onstead of Sugar Land.
Bob is also survived by one great-grandchild, Audrey of Navasota; and his only brother, Dr. Charles Onstead, who recently moved to Houston from Aiken, South Carolina.