Donald Ray Rothbauer


Donald Ray Rothbauer, age 67, of Moulton, Texas passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, on May 24, 2024. He was born on March 1, 1957, in Shiner, Texas to Marvin & Rose Chilek Rothbauer.  He attended school in Moulton, excelled in basketball, and graduated in 1975. He then attended Texas State Technical Institute and received his degree in Automotive Technology in 1977.  He worked in Houston at a Ford dealership for a short time before realizing the big city was not for him.  He returned to Moulton and obtained employment at Wendel Ford Motor Company in Yoakum.  In October of 1977, he went to the Chilispiel to hang out with friends and have a few beers, but instead, he found the girl he did not know he was looking for.  That girl was Jennifer Jalufka and in six short months, he proposed to her.  On November 18, 1978, Don and Jennifer were married at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.  They made their home on the Rothbauer farm in Gonzales County.  Don always wanted his own business, and on May 12, 1980, that dream became a reality.  The young couple opened Don's Automotive in Moulton, providing quality auto repair to Moulton and the surrounding areas.  

Don and Jennifer were blessed with two sons, Wesley in 1982 and Toby in 1984; both grew up around the shop, destined to follow in their dad's foot steps.  In 2007, Don and Jennifer's two sons became part owners, and the name of his business became Don's Automotive, LLC.  Still today, they continue to provide the same quality auto repairs Don was very passionate about.  

In 2009, Don became a grandpa, which was something he took great pride in. Two more grandchildren joined the family in 2013 and 2016, and these three were his pride and joy.  Don was fortunate to have been able to be home during the last days of his life, reliving memories with Maddie, Shelby, and Easton, as well as the rest of his family.  

Don was the most amazing husband, father, grandpa, and uncle anyone could have.  He will be remembered for his warm smile, hearty laughter, and unwavering kindness towards everyone he encountered.  He loved to talk and never met a stranger.  His presence brought light and joy to those around him, and his absence will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

He is survived by his loving family, including his devoted wife of 45 1/2 years, Jennifer; sons, Wesley (Alisha) Rothbauer and Toby (Kay Lynn) Rothbauer; grandchildren, Madison, Shelby, and Easton Rothbauer; brother, David (Lisa) Rothbauer; mother-in-law, Angeline Jalufka, and numerous nieces and nephews, close relatives, and cherished friends. Don's memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew him best.

Pallbearers will be Chad Rothbauer, Gerard Jalufka, Cody Jalufka, Gene Selzer, Jr., Bobby Beran, Marcy Kleihege, Scott Sustr, and Moses Flores.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Rose Rothbauer, father-in-law, Claude E. Jalufka, and brother-in-law, Henry C. Jalufka.  

The visitation will take place on May 29, 2024 from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. at Smith Funeral Home, with the rosary following at 7:00 P.M. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, in Moulton, Texas.  The funeral service will be held on May 30, 2024 at 10:00 A.M., with Father Gabriel Maison officiating. 

In honoring Don's memory, let us carry forward the values of compassion, generosity, and love that he so embodied.  May he rest in peace knowing that he was truly cherished and will never be forgotten.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at

Smith Funeral Home – 404 West Bobkat Dr., Moulton, TX  77975    Phone #361-596-4631