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Louis Romano

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Louis Romano Obituary
Louis Romano Okemos Louis Romano, Professor Emeritus at MSU, passed away September 30, 2013 at the age of 92. He was born January 1, 1921. Louis was raised in the 3rd Ward Immigrant neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from an Italian family headed by a single mom, Marie Pelligrino Romano. Louis is the last survivor of 5 siblings, Tony Romano, Joan Romano Blazevic, Robert Romano and Nina Romano Galipo. His wife Shirley preceded him in death in 2003. Lou is survived by his daughters, Pam Dilley of East Lansing, MI and Jill Stryker of Falls Church, VA. Pam's two sons, Brett of Cincinnati, OH and David (Erin) and their son, Colin of Holland, MI and Jill's daughter, Kim and son, Sean. Louis was a graduate of Lincoln High School in Milwaukee and he holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his PhD in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lou's authored 125 children's book and the most famous is the true story of Gertie the Duck who built her nest on the pilings in the Milwaukee River on Wisconsin Avenue next to Gimbels Department Store. Gertie the Duck is published in six languages (French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Danish and English) and has been in print for 70 years. He has had numerous professional books published including Exploring Wisconsin for 4th graders to use studying the state of Wisconsin. Louis was an elementary teacher, Director of Instructional Services and then the Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He furthered his career and became the Superintendent of the Wilmette Public Schools, north of Chicago. He then moved to Michigan in 1966 where he became a professor at Michigan State University, College of Education in the Dept of Administration and Higher Education. He was the founder and executive director of the MAMSE-Michigan Association of Middle Schools and the Founder of the NAMSE-National Association of Middle School Educators. He was the recipient of 4 MSU Apple Awards from the College of Education. Most importantly Lou, Uncle Louie, the jitterbug champ or Grandpa, depending on who knew him was a heck of a fun, loving, giving and all around entertainingly wonderful person. He was the guy that every girl wanted to dance with at the party. He was only "39 and holding" he would tell everyone. If he was in the room, the office, the hospital, the hallway, whereveryou knew he was there and everyone wanted to come say hi to Grandpa. He spoiled his grandkids rotten and we all loved him for it. He always seemed to do everything in style and energized everyone he touched. He never hesitated to jump up and help any of his students or his friends or associations. He'd do the work, or raise the money or whatever was needed. You couldn't say no to uncle Louie because he'd do it anyways. If you were a lady and came to the house you'd probably get a piece of jewelry. He had good taste in rings and flowers. He appreciated Pam being not only his daughter, but also caregiver for the past ten years. She visited him, did his laundry, took him to movies, to Milwaukee where he was honored for his Gertie the Duck book and more. In fact, Gertie was selected to be used as the text to study all academic subjects through the arts with Sharp Presentations a nonprofit organization working with inner city children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sharp Presentations purchased 1,000 books autographed by Lou for all second graders in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Not only his family but all of his students, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and many many more will miss him dearly. Thank you to all the wonderful caregivers at Burcham Hills Retirement Community where Dad lived during the last few years. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 5, 11:00 a.m. at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 E. Grand River Ave, East Lansing. The family will receive friends on Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the chapel. Memorial contributions may be made in Lou's memory to Faith Lutheran Church, 4215 Dobie Rd., Okemos, MI 48864 or the UWM Foundation, 1440 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202 for the benefit of the "Gertie the Duck Scholarship" or the Louis Romano Scholarship Fund - School of Education, Michigan State University, 535 Chestnut Rd, Rm 300, East Lansing, MI 48824. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

Published in Lansing State Journal on Oct. 3, 2013
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