Nellie T. Romano

PORTLAND – Nellie T. Romano, 95, passed away on Feb. 17, 2020.

Born in South Portland, Nellie was the fifth of sixth daughters of Barbara (Paslowski) and John Jonkavich. She was predeceased by her beloved sisters Blanche Russell, Olga Skinner, Laura Walker, Julia Jones and Della Piligian and her husband Samuel J. Romano.

She was salutatorian of Lincoln Grammar School and graduated from South Portland High School in 1943.

Nellie worked at Crosby Laughlin where she met her future husband of 49 years, Samuel Romano. They were married in July of 1947. They lived in South Portland and raised two sons, Stephen and Richard. During these years, the family enjoyed many trips to Florida visiting sisters, nieces and nephews. The family spent summer days picnicking and clamming on Sturdivant Island in Casco Bay. Nellie was a member of the Osawantha Garden Club for many years, winning ribbons for her beautiful flower arrangements and for the prize-winning vegetables from her son Stephen’s garden. Nellie was a wonderful card player, regularly playing bridge and Tripoli with the large Italian family and teaching her granddaughters Elizabeth and Tracy their numbers and math skills with cards and dice. Nellie worked as an AV assistant in the South Portland High School Library for 20 years. This was a perfect job for her with her love of books and reading.

During retirement she and her husband Sam enjoyed many bus trips including California, Canada, Arkansas, Washington, Europe and Mexico with their good friends Betty and Bob Olsen, and cruises to the Caribbean with the sisters from Florida. Nellie was very active with two Red Hat groups, the purpose of which was to have fun, and she enthusiastically participated.

Nellie and Sam were blessed to have their granddaughters grow up across the street on Romano Road, and had an especially close relationship with their granddaughters Elizabeth and Tracy.

Nellie and her husband Sam were charter members of the South Portland High School Quarterback Club, which existed for 50 years supporting the school athletic program. They spent many hours in the concession stand with other founding members including the Kierstead family and the McAleney family.

During her later years she has been a resident of The Cedars where she was very active with programs including, as recent as last May, a bike ride with the Portland Wheelers along with her granddaughter and great grandchildren. The Romano family is very appreciative of the community environment and the care provided by the staff of Cedars and Hospice.

Nellie is survived by her son, Richard and his wife Diane of Cape Elizabeth, son Stephen and his wife Carol of Gorham, N.H. and St. Petersburg, Fla.; her two granddaughters Elizabeth Romano of Atlanta, Ga. and Tracy Romano Bissonnette of South Portland; and two great- grandchildren, Noah Samuel Bissonnette and Mallory Carolynn Bissonnette of South Portland.

Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery South Portland.

Visiting hours will be Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Rd., South Portland with a funeral service to follow at 4:00 p.m. Burial on Monday, March 2, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.

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