Childhood, Family, & Friends


Roberto Molinary was born on November 16th, 1937, in Puerto Rico on the northwestern part of the island.  He was born in a furniture store.  

In the video below, baby Roberto is sitting on his mother’s lap: Click on the link below to listen to Roberto talk about his birth.

Roberto’s father’s side of the family was Italian and his mother’s side was Spanish.  His mother, Concepcion Martinez, was a registered nurse and his father, Domingo Molinary, was a musician and a firefighter.  His parents divorced when he was 2 years old.  Roberto says he is “the byproduct of a single mother in the ’30s which was unheard of.  And I guess I turned out okay.”  He had an older brother named Rafael, and they were very close.  They were always together and almost like twin brothers.  All of his aunts and uncles took care of him and replaced his father.  

Family means a lot to Roberto:  Click on the link below to listen to Roberto talk about growing up and his family.

He grew up close to the beach and loved to spend time swimming in the ocean.  Roberto could walk from his house to the ocean and spend a whole day there just listening to the waves.  He also enjoyed seeing old Western movies with all of his friends at the local movie theater on the weekends.  The movies were a dime and mostly cowboy and Indian movies.  

Roberto has three close friends that all lived in the same neighborhood in Puerto Rico.  They grew up together and did everything together.  Roberto calls his friends “related but not by blood.”  They still see each other even today and they call each other on the phone a lot.  Their names are Carlos, Hector, and Nestor.  He also had friends from his life in the military and college.  One of his friends from the military was named Claude.  

Roberto’s wife’s name was Zita.  Roberto met his wife when he went to his brother’s wedding in Puerto Rico.  Roberto  visited his mother in the hospital where she worked because he needed to talk to her.  His mother then introduced Roberto to his future wife who was working for his mother as a secretary at the front desk.  They dated for a short time and then were married.  When they were married, they did everything together.  Zita spent her life being a mother.  She was a good seamstress and made most of her daughters’ clothes.  She was also a good cook

Because his children were born around the world, Roberto says that he was a part of an international household. His children’s names are Roberto Junior (Hawaii), Sonia (New York), and Rosemary (Germany).  His grandchildren are Gabriel, the guitarist; Gracie, the drummer; and Abram, the athlete.  Family reunions are important to Roberto whether they are in the United Sates or Puerto Rico.  Family unity is very important to him.

The photos below are roughly based on time-periods of Roberto’s life.  


All three photos courtesy of Roberto Molinary

First photo: Roberto as a young child (sitting on his mother’s lap) with his brother, Rafael (perched on the chair), and  their mother in 1939. Second photo: Roberto (right) and Rafael (left) when Rafael graduated first grade in 1941. Third photo: Roberto (left) and Rafael (right) as children in 1942.


All three photos courtesy of Roberto Molinary

First photo: Roberto’s mother (right) and brother (left) on July 29th, 1956.  Second photo: Roberto (right) visiting his mother (left) in Puerto Rico in 1957.  Third photo: Roberto (left) in uniform with his mother (right) in 1957.



All three photos courtesy of Roberto Molinary

First photo:  Roberto’s wedding day on December 23, 1964.  Roberto is on the right and Zita is on the left.  Second photo: Roberto (left) and his wife  (right) on their honeymoon in Puerto Rico in December 1964. Third photo: Roberto (right), his wife (left), and his mother (center) in 1980. 


All three photos courtesy of Roberto Molinary

First photo: Roberto (right) with his daughter, Rosie (left), in Fort Jackson in 1976.  Second photo: Rosie’s church confirmation in 1988 (left to right: Roberto Junior, Sonia, Rosie, and Zita).  Third photo: Roberto’s children during Thanksgiving 2001 (left to right: Sonia, Roberto Junior, and Rosie).

Some of Roberto’s friends:


All three photos courtesy of Roberto Molinary

First photo: Roberto (right) with his friend, Claude Gareshe (left), in Puerto Rico in 1957.  Second photo: Roberto’s mother on the beach in Puerto Rico in the 1950s.  Third photo: Roberto (right) with his grandson, Abram (left), at an Atlanta Braves baseball game in August 2017.