It was a privilege to attend the Memorial Service for long-time HCREC member Theodore (Ted) Romer on November 22, 2014. With his wife Mary Ann’s permission, I would like to share briefly some of the photos and remarks from the Memorial Service. Ted Romer was a patriot in every sense of the word. He loved his country and served it well during WW II. He also loved Israel and served it well. In 1948 he went to Israel and helped fight for the independence of the Jewish State. He subsequently went to Israel in every war they fought. Ted had a degree in engineering from New York University and later earned a Ph.D. in engineering. Ted met Mary Ann in 1983. They were married in 1986 and had a wonderful full life together. They moved to Sebring in 2006 and Ted passed away on June 21, 2014.
Notes used by the Rabbi for the Memorial Service for Theodore (Ted ) Romer at Temple Israel, Sebring, FL on November 22, 2014.
Ted was born September 27, 1927 on the Lower East Side, New York City
Ted passed away June 21, 2014 after a long struggle with cancer.
Mother, Ida Tobias, was born in the United States
Father, Louis Romer, was born in Europe.
Ted has three children, Richard, Karen, and Lauren and four beautiful grandchildren, Ben and Sarah and John Louis and David. His extended family is his daughter-in-law, Janet and her three beautiful daughters, Chris, Janelle and Danielle and their spouses and children.
He was raised speaking Yiddish in the home and didn’t speak English until he went to kindergarten. He was raised in an orthodox family and always loved his Torah. He prayed every morning for the well-being of his family and country.
As a teenager the family moved to the Bronx, NY where Ted went to James Monroe High School. He became the leader of the ‘gang’ on Charlotte Street, drove a mountain taxi to and from the Catskills in NY and was a ‘four sewer’ hitter at stick ball.
He played football as quarterback on the HS team until he was thrown out of school for poor grades right before the last game of the season, which they lost.
At 17 years old he learned how to box in order to earn money for the family. He won every bout until his mother and uncle showed up at one of his fights at the Westchester Arena.
He was sent to Europe to save Jewish scientists during WW II.
In 1945, towards the end of World War II, Ted entered the Army and had an honorable discharge in 1946. He was in charge of German POW’s in the United States.
After the war he took and passed his G.E.D. exam in NYC.
In 1948 he went to Israel and helped fight for the independence of the Jewish State. He subsequently went to Israel in every war they fought. He was always an ardent supporter of Israel and knew firsthand the threat of their enemies. He had learned how to fly in 1948 and eventually transitioned to becoming an F-4 fighter pilot.
In 1955 he attended and graduated New York University, (NYU) with a degree in engineering.
He later received a PhD in engineering.
In 1981 Ted led a group of seniors on a volunteer mission to Israel and helped form the Volunteers for Israel program. The volunteers worked in the fields and did other work while the Israeli soldiers were protecting their country. While there, in 1981, he led a tank battalion to the northern border of Israel but was prevented by the Administration from going into Lebanon and Syria.
In 1981, Ted taught at Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh, PA in order to give something back to the US because he had gotten his college degree through the GI bill.
Ted wore many business hats, some of which were:
He ran a carpet cleaning business;
Owned a dude ranch with 60 horses in Rhinebeck, NY;
Represented Solargen Electric Cars;
Started a successful company doing basement waterproofing
He was a boat owner, pilot, author, inventor of the ‘Safety Triangle’, and business man.
Ted met Mary Ann in 1983. They were married in 1986 and had a wonderful full life together.
They travelled extensively, cruised the Caribbean, Far East, Russia, Egypt, and Europe.
They collected art.
They loved sports.
Ted was a racket ball player
They met playing tennis and then both learned how to play golf – (Ted was the county champ in Monroe Township, NJ)
Ted was an avid reader and prolific writer and story teller.
He loved Frank Sinatra and the ‘olde’ songs and movies. He could sing the lyrics from songs of the 40’s and remembered all the old actors and actresses and would have fun with our dear friend Lou Wills recalling their names.
He had a great sense of business and the economy
In the past couple of years he enjoyed driving his ‘Mistress’, a 1929 Mercedes Benz replica.
Throughout his life he supported and helped build many synagogues and was a devoted Jew who believed that he did not deserve to have the honor of carrying the Torah or praying on the bimah. If anyone was more deserved of this honor it was Theodore (Ted) Romer.
Ted was a proud United States Army Veteran who deeply believed in and fought for:
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of the Press
Freedom of Speech
Freedom to Assemble
The Right to a fair trial and
The Right to Vote
We are here today to remember and celebrate the life of Theodore Romer.
Brief excerpts from Mary Ann’s remarks at the Memorial Service:
Ted’s daughter, Karen, once wrote that her dad was ‘the mighty Lion of Judah’ and that his ‘roar and presence will never be forgotten’. Lauren wrote that her ‘Papa Bear’ was bigger than life to her and that he would ‘die for’ friends and family. He was so proud of his 3 children and all that they had accomplished and had become—a doctor, a nurse and a teacher.
He experienced and lived life more than any 10 people put together and I know and believe that he has enriched the lives of those people who knew and loved him. As one of our friends has written : “We lost a great patriot who fought hard for his country and his life; He fought for what was right and fair; He took risks for that which matters; He has given help to those in need and leaves this world a better place for what he has done.”