Robert Ontiveros, 2013 Lincoln Laureate, passed away on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at home with his wife, Blenda, and other family members by his side. He was 83.
Born Aug. 17, 1938, Ontiveros was the third of 11 children raised in humble circumstances in what is now known as the Floreciente neighborhood in Moline. He left college in the last semester of his senior year when his funds ran out, and started his business by knocking on factory doors selling packaging material and equipment from the family station wagon. That became Group O, one of the ten largest Hispanic owned companies in the United States, a multi-million-dollar enterprise with over 1,500 employees and 34 facilities across the nation.
Ontiveros was bestowed the Order of Lincoln in 2013 as one of the nation’s most successful Latino entrepreneurs and philanthropists.