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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2004 News Archive > ACU board of trustees member Robert Onstead dies

ACU board of trustees member Robert Onstead dies



For immediate release
Aug. 5, 2004

Robert Onstead, Houston businessman and ACU Board of Trustees member for nearly 30 years, died of a heart attack Wednesday at an airport in Sicily while traveling with his wife, daughter and granddaughter. He was 73.

"Bob exemplified Christian love, dedication and service," said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. "He continually blessed others with his humility, his leadership and his generosity on the ACU board of trustees and in every aspect of his life."

Throughout Texas, and especially in Houston, Onstead is known for his civic leadership and his business success.

He founded Randall's Food Markets Inc. in 1966 and was CEO and chairman of the board until 1996 when his son, Randall, took over the CEO responsibilities. He retired from Randall's in 1998. Onstead was chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston Economic Development Council, the Better Business Bureau of Houston and Houston Retail Grocers Association, among others.

Onstead served ACU as a board member beginning in 1978. Onstead and his wife, Kay, are the namesakes of the Robert and Kay Onstead Distinguished Chair of Biblical Studies. He was instrumental in raising funds for the construction of the Biblical Studies Building and the Mabee Business Building. The brides’ lounge beneath ACU's Chapel on the Hill is named in honor of Kay. The Onsteads have funded numerous scholarships for ACU students preparing for careers in business and ministry, and provided internship programs through Randall's for many ACU accounting students..

Onstead was born in Garrett but graduated from high school in Ennis in 1948. He attended the University of North Texas and served two years in the U.S. Air Force. He is survived by his wife, his brother, Dr. Charles Onstead, four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

The funeral will be Monday, Aug. 9, at noon at 2nd Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway, Houston. Visitation is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 8, 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. in the Library of the George H. Lewis Funeral Home, 1010 Bering Drive, Houston.

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