Donald Romero Remembered

Donald Craig Romero has just died before dawn on September 18, 2014. He was born on September 24, 1946 in Crowley, Louisiana. This very brief obituary honors and celebrates his life and notes the pain of his passing. His funeral arrangements will be at Vincent’s Funeral Home and there  will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Magdalen Church  on Monday the twenty-second of September — the church where he and his wife were longtime parishoners. If the link under the name of the funeral home does not work copy the following to you browser for times and dates as they are posted:

http://www.vincentfuneralhome.net/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2695656&fh_id=11197

I saw Donald very ill in the hospital just before he was released home with hospice care. There have been a few adjustments since the first edition of this post and there may be corrections posted in this text over time but mostly this is the memorial which will stand for the man who has been among my father’s closest friends and someone I have known a long time and pretty well myself. The Romero’s were a couple my parents were likely to choose to spend free time with and to enjoy fellowship with. I will return to this theme of family connections below.

Not a formal portrait but a picture of Donald Craig Romero doing for others. He was wiring a house and doing an interview for an online video.

Not a formal portrait but a picture of Donald Craig Romero doing for others. He was wiring a house and doing an interview for an online video.

He was married to Cheryl Lemaire Romero for nearly thirty-nine years. They were married at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Kaplan, Louisiana.  Which is in Vermilion Parish and Acadiana and Louisiana where they lived the bulk of their lives. Both were born in South Louisiana and Cheryl and Donald each worked for large employers in the area during much of their lives. In recent decades their life has centered more around their very nice home a bit North and West of Abbeville proper  which was a project among many they undertook together. Cheryl survives Donald with heir children and grandchildren.

Donald Romero  was a doer who spent lots of time making things happen.

Donald Romero donated time and skill to many projects including electrical work on the house where this is written when already much ravaged by cancer. Donald Romero also donated food, friendship and support with his family over the years to many causes. and works of my family.

His descendants are two families both close to my family.  His daughter Sarah Romero Harrington and her husband D.J. Harrington and their children Gabrielle, Grant and Grace have been part of many of our lives for many years in ways I will enumerate a bit below. His son Samuel Luke Romero and Sammy’s wife Lindsey Dold Romero  and their children Anders and Magdalen, and Evangeline have served as missionaries with Family Missions Company in the Philippines.

Sammy and Lindsey and their family in missions. Donald long supported the mission work of my family.

Sammy and Lindsey and their family in missions. Donald long supported the mission work of my family.

Donald moved into this Parish and portion of the region and his parents who predeceased him were Thomas Romero and Anne Bourque Romero and were residents of Washington, Louisiana. He is also preceded in death by his brother Jeffrey Jude Romero and his wife Dorthy Romero Myers. But he is survived by brothers Robert, Johnny, Dwight, Paul and  Bryan. He is also survived by a single sister. Susan Romero Sylvester.

Donald’s time in the Navy and his studies at McNeese State University were part of making him the very able technician he was at work and elsewhere. Romero served in an open combat theater during the  traumatic period and controversial conflagration which was the Vietnam War. He always valued the experience, training chances for travel and good relations he enjoyed with others on the aircraft carrier on which he served.  Afterwards he   entered McNeese State University in Lake Charles and completed an associates degree in Electronics Technology. From that background he went to work successfully in the oilfield until he found a job which enabled him to have a more complete family and community life.

He worked much of his life for Riviana Foods in their principal Abbeville locations. He loved his job more than most people do and felt well treated especially during his long struggle with illness. However, this does not mean he felt no stress in the technical responsibilities he exercised. Long ago he turned down some more lucrative options to stick not only with his company but the many connections he had made locally.

I am busy with getting less busy in some ways but am able to take the time, risk and effort to note the passing of Donald Romero He has just lost a long and gruesome battle with cancer. I  have cut back a lot on my online activity. The passing of a dear friend’s wife. Maureen Ferguson Kroeger,  has not yet been marked here before this mention. I am myself not much involved with FMC but Donald and I worked in missionary endeavors  before Family Missions Company and in the years when I actively supported them more than I do I saw him at such functions as I attended.  He and his wife Cheryl were founding members of Family Missions Company and the first Committee Heads of FMC’ s Evangelistic Outreach Committee.

The long connection with the Romero family and with Donald is a very complex and rich connection. There has been much to celebrate and enjoy over the years and many hard years of watching his struggle with cancer. This short obituary is just a token of that whole tale. I especially remember an early video he made of my parents and family and their missionary work in General Cepeda after I was no longer living with them. It meant a lot to see the video and he had brought the new video technology to the mission field. Donald Romero is a man easy to remember as busy doing his best on some project he had made time for and it is thus that I last videoed him.  The parameters on my account have changed and few of my videos show when accessed now but the link is provided in the highlighted text.

Another shot of the same work. The chair probably would not have been their twenty years earlier.

Another shot of the same work. The chair probably would not have been their twenty years earlier.

There will of course be other obituaries and many will remember a man who was never really famous and yet reached quite the  large network over a lifetime. There is a great deal to say and much of it would have to be a list of things done. He was a doer and a man committed to doing what he could with the time and resources he had available for the people and causes he cared about.

I have a dearth of images of him available here and now but this retreat house is one place of many where he and I were together.

I have a dearth of images of him available here and now but this retreat house is one place of many where he and I were together.

In remembering the years that I knew Donald Romero a number of things become very clear. His family and mine connected through many connections over the years. This obituary is put together to note his passing in this blog but does not evince the hundreds of events, projects and occasions in which our lives touched. He literally fixed hundreds of items which disappeared in bad repair from my parents home in the years when I lived with them and appeared again repaired by Donald Romero. He did some free repairs on my car once when I was parked at his home to have dinner.  How does one summarize or narrate such a relationship and such a life? But I mention it here in my blog to give it such a lasting monument as I can. My father will be one of those eulogizing Mr. Romero. I know that he will bring things to light I will not cover here.

These are different horses at Big Woods. But one memory I have of interacting with the Romeros is catching the horse Champ to give to Donald's son-in-law D.J. to load into a trailer and drive to their home for Gabrielle and their other children.

These are different horses at Big Woods. But one memory I have of interacting with the Romeros is catching the horse Champ to give to Donald’s son-in-law D.J. to load into a trailer and drive to their home for Gabrielle and their other children.

I trust that Donald has found rest after labor, peace after combat, health after sickness. I pray for his soul and family as I often prayed with him in my lifetime.

 

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