Robert Gene Pongetti passed away peacefully on July 22nd at his home in Clear Lake City, where he lived for 37 happy years. Bob, or "RobbaGene" to his kinfolk, was born on March 24, 1937 in Shelby, Mississippi and raised on a farm with his 8 brothers and sisters. A friendly, versatile young man with many varied interests, he played on the football team, sang in choir, worked at the local grocery store, and served as president of his class at Shelby High School. Bob went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at Mississippi State University, and soon after served in the Navy's Critical Skills program. In 1975, he began a career with Celanese chemical company where he would happily remain until his retirement in 1999. Bob will be remembered wearing a big broad smile. He was a good-natured man with an easy laugh, and an endless curiosity about the world around him. Never too old to learn something new, Bob was an avid reader of historical novels, classics, science fiction and science books, and maintained an infectious sense of wonder throughout his well-travelled life. He and his wife Dorothea spent their 10 plus years in retirement seeing the world, from South America to Australia, Russia to China, but always looked forward to returning home to their family and to Bob's backyard garden. He spent many happy hours tending to his homegrown fruits and vegetables with the utmost care. He truly loved the time he spent outside teaching his kids and grandkids how to appreciate nature. When he wasn't gardening, he enjoyed golfing with his friends, and helping his community.
He volunteered at St. Bernadette's Catholic Church, Blades of Grass, Bay Area Turning Point as a "Mr. Fix-it", and at CCISD as a reading tutor for elementary students. Bob was an inspiration to always be kind, keep it simple, be moderate in all things, and to respect and enjoy nature. His big, bright spirit and matching smile will be missed so much, by so many. Bob is survived by his loving wife of 19 years, Dorothea, his son Robert, daughter Kit Pongetti and husband Mark Stegemann, three step-daughters, Dorothea Feng and husband Ven, Gina Evans and husband Keith, and Mona Zegarelli and husband Joseph. He is also survived by 5 beautiful grandchildren, Jay, Leigh Ann, Ava, Louis Rocco and Gene, and by his brothers J. Victor and wife Rita, Adam, Raymond and wife Mitzi, and sisters, Lillian and Delores. He is preceded in death by his sister Elizabeth Pringle and brothers Charles and Tony Pongetti, and also by his parents Amelia and Jetulio. A Mass of Remembrance and Celebration will be held at 11am on Friday, July 26th at St. Bernadette's Catholic Church, 15500 El Camino Real, Houston. The family will receive friends in the adjacent Parish Life Center immediately following the memorial mass. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Bob's name to: Bay Area Turning Point women's shelter.
bayareaturningpoint.org 210 S. Walnut St., Webster, TX 77598. Or, to MD Anderson for brain cancer research. mdanderson.org/gifts The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center P.O. Box 4486 Houston, TX 77210-4486.