Robert J. "Bob" Botelho, senior vp of RollMaster Software for more than 13 years, died July 6 at his home in Lexington, N.C., following a brief illness. He was 57.

"Bob was a tireless businessman and promoter who spent his waking moments thinking about the flooring industry and analyzing how our software could help our customers, his friends," remembered Dev O'Reilly, ROllMaster's president and ceo. "During the past 17-plus years that we were associated, I witnessed first-hand Bob’s loyalty, humor, generosity and unconquerable spirit as well as his profound love and admiration of his daughter Sheri and his son Kevin."

Botelho was born April 21, 1953, in Fall River, Mass., where he graduated from Durfee High School. He remained in the Fall River area and spent more than 20 years in the retail floor covering industry, starting as a floor covering installer. When he left in 1997 to become senior vp of RollMaster, he owned three retail floor covering stores.

"Bob ... belonged to the generation of flooring industry professionals who made their reputations in the golden age when carpet was king of the flooring business," O'Reilly said. "Bob was always barking orders, giving opinions and lecturing in his signature Boston accented tone on the state of the retail flooring industry. When I first learned that he was gone, I was devastated, not just because he was my business partner and dear friend, but also because he was such a strong personality, dominating force; I thought that he was invincible." 

"Everyone who knew Bob either loved him to death or loved him a lot. Bob could be stubborn and persnickety, but he always maintained a fierce integrity," he added.