Charles (Chuck) Burrell Romney, 89, a longtime resident of Las Cruces, passed away Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 with his loving family at his side after a long and happy life. He was born in Colonial Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico to Miles Archibald and Emily Burrell Romney on June 18, 1923. After high school, Chuck moved to Chihuahua City where he worked as a shift boss for American Smelting and Refining Company until World War II broke out. He felt it was his duty to come to the United States and join the army at Fort Bliss, Texas, even though he was a Mexican citizen. He served as a radar specialist on a B52 bomber on the island of Tinian. After the war he returned to El Paso, Texas where he was discharged and awarded his U.S. citizenship. While in El Paso, he built and opened a miniature golf course on the corner of Montana and Reymond streets with his cousin. After two years he decided he needed an education. He moved to Las Cruces to attend New Mexico A&M (NMSU) where he was president of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and received his degree in electrical engineering. Following graduation, Chuck turned down an apprenticeship with Lockheed to manage the John Deere dealership in El Paso while his brother served a mission in Guatemala. Upon his brother's return he moved back to Las Cruces and purchased the John Deere Dealership for Las Cruces and in Hatch, which he ran until his retirement. During that time, he also bought into the Bobcat franchise and was on their board of directors. In his personal life, Chuck served as the Stake President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Las Cruces, New Mexico Stake for 10 years. He also served as a bishop for the University Ward and was on the High Council for many years. He held many other church positions during his lifetime. He was also active in the Boy Scouts of America and looked forward each year for his yearly trip to Philmont Scout Camp. He is a past president of the Mayfield Booster Club and also was president of the Lions' de Noche Club and a member of the noon Rotary Club. He loved to work with the youth and was a supporter of the FFA and the 4H clubs. Later in life, Chuck decided he wanted to learn to fly an airplane that he could use for pleasure and in his business. It became his passion. He was one of 20 pilots in the U.S. to be asked by the Russian government to attend a special air exposition. While in Russia, he was a guest of the government and was able to visit many places in the country that had been closed to tourists for many years during the Cold War. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents and siblings and he left behind his loving wife of 61 years, Marjorie, and their four children, Shelly Sullivan (Carl Sullivan), Kevin Romney (Barbara Romney), Stephanie Meadows (James Meadows) and Kerry Romney, along with 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild and many friends. Visitation will be at La Paz Graham Funeral Home on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 at 7 - 9 p.m. There will be a short visitation, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 at 9 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Venus Stake Center at 3210 N. Venus St. The funeral service will follow at 10 a.m. Burial to follow at Masonic Cemetery. Funeral arrangements entrusted to La Paz - Graham's Funeral Home. 526-6891. To sign the guest book log on to www.lapaz-grahams.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Oct. 2, 2012