Robert S. Conte, M.D., a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, passed away suddenly in College Station, Texas on August 6, 2021 following complications from a routine medical procedure. His death is tragic and heartbreaking for his family and friends, who struggle to understand that God, our maker, is also responsible for calling us home when He deems it is time. We were not ready to say farewell to this beloved man and his larger-than-life personality.
Bob was a beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather. He was steadfast and deeply loyal to his boyhood friends in New Orleans, his professional colleagues and medical associates in Houston, and his close-knit group of friends in College Station, who proved that it is never too late to build new friends during one's lifetime.
He was looking forward to returning to New Orleans this summer to celebrate his 60th high school reunion at St. Aloysius School. Bob was a loyal Tiger at Louisiana State University. He planned to major in Physics but the line during freshman registration was too long for this impatient young man. He looked for a shorter option and signed up as a pre-med major. He graduated from LSU in 1965 with a B.S. in Microbiology.
He earned his Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 1969. At the height of the Vietnam War, Bob enlisted as an officer in the U.S. Navy and began his medical internship at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. He was proud of his military service and often said if he had not had a wife and tiny baby waiting for him at home, he would have considered a longer career as a Navy doctor.
In 1975, Bob moved to Houston, Texas with his first wife, Cindy Bozeman Conte (Bradford) where they raised their two young daughters, Kimberly Conte and Lesley Conte Childress. Bob established a private pulmonary practice at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Houston. He was board certified in both Occupational Medicine and Internal Medicine and completed a Master's in Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
In 1989, he left his private practice to serve as the Corporate Medical Director of a number of energy-related companies with world-wide responsibilities. His clients included major companies such as Halliburton, KBR, Burlington Resources, Total North America, Nabors, Devon Energy, Oceaneering and BHP Billiton. Locally, he worked with the City of Houston, Reliant Energy and CenterPoint Energy. Never a man who had any intention of retiring, he has continued his work, just with a shorter client list.
Five years ago, Bob surprised friends when he moved to College Station to become a cattle rancher. It was a long way from the French Quarter of New Orleans and the big city lights of Houston that he was accustomed to. He swapped out his tailored business suits for blue jeans and cowboy boots, and never looked back.
He was an avid traveler, but most of all he looked forward to alternating months traveling between the ranch and the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.
Bob will be remembered fondly for his ability to laugh and to make others smile. One of the doctors, Dr. Scott, who cared for Bob these past few days described him perfectly: "Bob walks into a room holding a cup full of sunshine." He will also be remembered for the tremendous love and influence he had on his family. Through his example, he taught his daughters and step-son to respect all people, to work hard, and to enjoy life on this good earth.
Bob was always a generous and giving man. In 2018, he and his second wife, Cindy West Conte (Bob's family named her Cindy #2) established a non-profit to serve families in the Brazos Valley who are dealing with Parkinson's Disease. Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson's 10 years ago and believed strongly in the mission of the organization to help those who needed encouragement and motivation to fight the disease. Bob also was proud to serve on the Board of Directors of Baylor Scott & White Hospital and to offer support for the charitable needs of the hospital.
This dear man will be deeply missed by his wife of 27 years, Cindy West Conte as well as his devoted daughters and their families: Kim Conte and her children Corinne, Wade and Blake; and Lesley Conte Childress, her husband Cullen and their children Carlisle and Beth Anne. He is also survived by his step-son, Edward Ireson and his wife, Amanda. Sadly, Bob will miss the arrival of their new baby boy due in September. Bob also leaves behind his one and only favorite baby sister, Linda Conte Geyer. Bob was adamant that Linda should move from New Orleans to live at the ranch. Bob, Cindy and Linda have been an inseparable team these past few years.
Eight very special men have walked beside Bob Conte at various stages in his life, sharing memorable times with him. We are honored that Dr. Norm Berkman, Robert Dickerson, Ron Blankenship, George Harris, Allan Levine, Bill Bozeman, John Pearl and Robert Livermore will be by his side as pallbearers on this last journey.
Honorary pallbearers include his son-in-law Cullen Childress, his grandsons Wade Passey and Blake Passey, his brothers-in-law Glenn West and Mark West, Dr. Will Gaines and Patrick Zoller, ranch manager of Winding Creek Ranch.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that friends consider a donation to your favorite charity or to the Robert Conte Foundation for Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Inc. at www.robertcontefoundation.org.
It is difficult for his family to let him go, but they find comfort in knowing that God has called him home after giving him a purposeful life along with good health, good friends and a loving family. We shall remember, "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you."
A Celebration of Life will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, August 10th, at Hillier Funeral Home, 4080 Highway 6 South in College Station, Texas 77845. Following the service, Graveside Services and Final Military Honors will be held at College Station Cemetery, 2530 Texas Avenue South, College Station, Texas 77840.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
2:00 - 3:00pm
Hillier Funeral Home of College Station