SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX. – Roberto Perez Olivares, devoted husband, father, and grandfather, of South Padre Island, Texas passed away on Monday, the 16th of December 2019 at the age of eighty after a yearlong courageous battle with esophageal cancer.
He was born on August 12, 1939 in San Diego, Texas to Manuel and San Juana Olivares. Roberto was preceded in death by his parents and six of his siblings; and is survived by his loving wife of fifty-four years, Sylvia Olivares; their three children Roberto (Gisela) of Austin, Texas, Victor (Eleanor) of Tyler, Texas, and Araceli Oliva (Ruben) of Melissa, Texas; their nine grandchildren Cristian, Jacob, Priscilla and Matthew (Araceli); Jonathan and Joshua (Victor); and Bobby, Miranda and Vivian (Roberto); his sister, Anna Castillo of San Antonio, Texas; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a Bachelors in Cultural Anthropology in 1969. He soon moved to Washington, D.C. where he helped develop a public education curriculum under the Director of Education, Elliott Richardson, during the Nixon administration. His job was to recruit minority individuals with PhD’s in education and together they developed a culturally sensitive program for minority children which eventually led to the evolution of Bilingual Education in the United States. This sent him traveling around the country visiting places such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to name a few.
He later moved his family to Dallas, Texas where he worked for the Administration on Aging as an advocate for better programming for the elderly. The later years of his career were spent supervising Medicare fraud investigations alongside the FBI at times, in a 10-state sector until he retired after more than three decades of work, at the age of sixty. Roberto kept busy after retirement and the locals on the island knew him as the manager of the Dolphin Condos.
Roberto always dreamt of moving to South Padre Island, Texas where he vacationed as a child. He had a vast love for the ocean and made this dream come true soon after retirement. For the past sixteen years he and Sylvia have lived on the bay. On many days you could find them sitting outside on their balcony enjoying the pelicans and watching the fishing boats sail by. Or if you were lucky enough, he would serenade you with the incredible talent he had of playing magnificent music on his baby grand piano, and making it his own creation. In addition to enjoying their time on the island, Roberto and Sylvia loved to travel. They enjoyed many visits to Europe, even spending a month in Spain to celebrate his one year-milestone from his surgery from the first diagnosis of esophageal cancer.
Those who knew Roberto will tell you that he was a true fighter. He initially was diagnosed with his first skin cancer in 2000 which returned multiple times throughout the years. During those times he was also diagnosed with bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. His first battle with esophageal cancer began in 2008 and he was given a less than 5% survival rate. After a long recovery he went into remission for ten years and during that time at the request of MD Anderson in Houston, he mentored others who were battling various cancers themselves. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed a second time in January of 2019 with esophageal cancer once again. He underwent many months of treatment again determined to win the fight a second time. Sadly, he lost this battle on December 16, 2019, with his loving family by his side. He will forever be remembered as a man of strong character who was full of integrity, humbled and giving to those in need. He leaves behind a legacy of love, strength, and compassion. He was a loving and romantic husband and an incredible father and grandfather who highly valued education which has been instilled in his children and grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the following: all the magnificent doctors, nurses, and staff from MD Anderson for all they do; Dr. Diane Lozano of Harlingen, Texas for going above and beyond by providing the utmost care possible until his very last days and the wonderful and caring staff from Bee First Hospice of Harlingen, Texas, we couldn’t have made it through these last couple of weeks without them.
Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, the 22nd of December 2019 between the hours of five o’clock in the afternoon and nine o'clock at night, with the recitation of the holy rosary to begin at six o'clock Sunday evening within the East Chapel of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home.
The Memorial Mass will be held on Monday, the 23rd of December 2019 at ten o'clock in the morning at Our Lady, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, located at 705 S. Longoria Street, Port Isabel, Texas 78578. All services for Mr. Olivares will conclude at the church.
In memory of Roberto P. Olivares, contributions may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, Texas 77210-4486 Gastrointestinal Cancer Center or www.mdanderson.org/gifts.
Memories of Roberto may be shared at www.darlingmouser.com.
Personalized funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home at 945 Palm Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-7111.
To send flowers to Roberto P. Olivares' family, please visit our floral section.