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Olga Casteleiro de Goizueta

1934 - 2015
Olga Casteleiro de Goizueta Obituary
GOIZUETA, Olga C. de Olga Casteleiro de Goizueta, known as Olguita to her closest friends, died on November 16, 2015 in her home surrounded by her family and personal caregivers in Atlanta, Georgia. She was 81 years old and lived a tremendous life filled with humor, love and grace. Olguita was born on April 18, 1934 in Havana, Cuba, and often was recognized by her family as a quick-witted, playful child. In her teens, she met the love of her life, former Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO, Roberto C. Goizueta, and was married in June 1953. In 1960, a year and a half after Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, Olguita and her family fled to the United States. She never returned to Cuba and remained ever grateful for the warm welcome and opportunities afforded to her and her family in the U.S. and in her adopted hometown of Atlanta. Olguita was a devoted wife who supported her husband passionately. While her husband, Roberto, held intense business meetings abroad, Olguita embraced the unique cultures wherever their journeys took them around the globe. Although she preferred life behind the scenes, Olguita quietly assumed leadership roles of her own through her volunteer work at the Atlanta History Center, the Latin American Association, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the High Museum of Art, among many other community agencies. Olguita served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Emory University and when her board term ended in 2004, she was named Trustee Emeritus. In addition, Olguita was proud of her affiliation with the Roberto C. Goizueta Business School at Emory University and enjoyed visiting with the School's talented professors and aspiring future business leaders. At home, Olguita could often be found attending to her lovely yard where she delighted in working in her garden. Olguita was a faithful member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and would also visit the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. When Roberto unexpectedly passed away in October 1997, Olguita stepped into the role of trustee and chairman of The Goizueta Foundation. Olguita became chair emeritus of The Goizueta Foundation in December 2012. Through The Goizueta Foundation, many people came to know Olguita as a kind-hearted and generous lady who aimed to understand complex community challenges and potential solutions to improve the quality of life for many individuals throughout the community. Olguita had an infectious, lively sense of humor and would often entertain family and friends with her smart remarks and jokes. While she visited with community organizations, she would gregariously greet people, be the first to embrace a small child with a hug, and at the same time, ask tough, insightful questions. She had a unique way of putting people at ease and carrying on conversations that struck a remarkable balance of seriousness and laughter. She is survived by her daughter: Olga Goizueta Rawls (Tom) and her sons: Roberto S. Goizueta (Elizabeth) of Boston, Massachusetts and Javier C. Goizueta (Dolores); and her grandchildren: Amelia Rawls Medina (Nate), Thompson Rawls (Sarah Hay), Caroline Rawls, Cristina Goizueta Rosato (Andrew), Roberto Carlos Goizueta, Gabriela Goizueta, Dolores Goizueta (Davide Di Iulio), Javier Goizueta and Roberto Goizueta. A fourth son, Carlos Alberto Goizueta, preceded her in death. The family extends its deepest gratitude to Olguita's lifelong and dearest friend, Vivian Moran Davis; Jenifer Duncan, Jennifer Curry, Amanda Smith, Amy McCrory Brown, and Catherine Donovan at The Goizueta Foundation; her personal caregivers: Rosalba Jones, Elvira Gomez, Nancy Ortiz and Winny Kazungu; her Sea Island friends, Shelia and Bernard McCloud; her music teacher and friend, Rene Herrera; the family's advisor and confidante, Moira Keller; and her devoted security team at Blackland. Olguita's life was celebrated among her family, The Goizueta Foundation staff, her caregivers and closest friends during a special funeral service that was held on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. Instead of flowers, the family requests that contributions in Olguita's name be made to the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, the Latin American Association in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 19, 2015
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