Alumni Profile

John Romanoski ’51

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Alumni Profile

John Romanoski ’51

The late John Romanoski had a heart for education and service.

Winter 2024 | Judy Roberts

In This Article

All the stories told about the late John Romanoski ’51 center on the way he gave to others, whether through teaching, military service, or helping organize a volunteer fire department in his community.

John, who died July 23, 2023, at the age of 98, lived a life focused on other people well into his senior years. At 92, he was calling bingo for the “old people” at the Rolling Hills Rehab and Nursing Center in Bridgeport, Ohio, and also helping distribute Communion there on Sundays. Before that, he saw to the spiritual and temporal needs of residents at the Heartland-Lansing Nursing Home in Bridgeport, where he was honored with a special day of recognition in 2005.

Even before beginning studies in physics and mathematics at what was then the College of Steubenville, John was living a life of service. He spent two years in the U.S. Army during World War II, receiving the Army Commendation Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal. Then, upon returning home in 1946, he helped organize the Wolfhurst Volunteer Fire Department. Over the years, John would respond to more than 2,000 calls for the department, including one at his own home.

After graduation from college, he spent several years with the Franciscans, studying for the priesthood in Norwood, Ohio; Loretto, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. He was not ordained and went on to teach science and math at St. John Vianney Seminary in Bloomingdale, Ohio. He also taught at St. Joseph Central Grade School in Bridgeport and Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.

Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, he studied astronomy and computers at Yale University and worked briefly computing space flights for the space information systems division of North American Aviation Co., the primary contractor for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the Apollo Moon Project. He later returned to teaching, and after retirement, continued to tutor and teach part-time.

John, who never married or had children, once told a reporter that his secret to life was faith, and that faith was reflected in a life marked by prayer and service to others.

John Romanoski posthumously received the 2023 Dr. John J. Carrigg Award for excellence as a leader in the field of education.

Judy Roberts writes from Graytown, Ohio.

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