Martin & Castille
330 Saint Landry Street
Lafayette, LA 70506
Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Martin & Castille
330 Saint Landry Street
Lafayette, LA
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Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
6:30 PM
Martin & Castille
330 Saint Landry Street
Lafayette, LA
View Map
Mass of Christian Burial
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020
10:00 AM
St. John the Evangelist
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Dr. Russell Charles Romero

Dr.  Russell Charles Romero Obituary
Dr. Russell Charles Romero

Lafayette - Russell Charles Romero, D.D.S, M.D.

One of the kindest, most compassionate, and humble men completed his worldly journey and entered eternal peace at his home on Thursday, February 13, 2020. Russell played many roles in his life but the ones that defined him were the roles of husband, father, son, physician, and volunteer to numerous charitable and fraternal organizations.

Russell Charles Romero, D.D.S, M.D., was born August 14, 1947, in Lafayette, LA, to John Harry Romero, Sr., and Mildred Chargois Romero. Russell graduated from Cathedral High School and attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana. After completing two years of pre-dental coursework, Russell was accepted into Loyola Dental School in New Orleans. It was during this period that Russell met his wife of 50 years, Carolyn Romero, née Bird. They were married on November 22, 1969, and Jason Jude Romero was born in 1975, followed by Jordan Thaddeus Romero in 1982. Upon the completion of dental school, Russell began an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery fellowship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. During this fellowship, Russell rotated with the Plastic Surgery Department and discovered his true calling.

Russell decided to apply to medical school, but had signed a commitment to serve in the United States Air Force. With help from Louisiana Senator J. Bennett Johnson, Russell was able to defer his Air Force commitment until he completed both medical school and his postgraduate residency training program. Russell was accepted into the new medical school in Shreveport, LA, and was in the fifth graduating class. Because of the basic science coursework he completed in dental school, Russell was given the rare opportunity to test out of several courses in medical school. This allowed Russell to work part time as a dentist during much of his medical school tenure.

Upon completion of medical school, Russell began a combined General Surgery and Plastic Surgery residency program at Saint Joseph Hospital, Houston, TX. The Plastic Surgery program at St. Joseph was staffed by several pioneers of modern Plastic Surgery including, Dr. Thomas Cronin, Dr. Raymond Brauer, and Dr. Thomas Biggs. One of the highlights of Russell's training was having the opportunity to operate with famous French plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul Tessier, considered the father of modern craniofacial surgery. Dr. Tessier developed many of the early techniques for cleft lip and palate repair and his mentorship had a lasting impact on Russell.

Once his residency was complete, Russell reported to Keesler Air Force Base Hospital, Biloxi, MS, to serve a three year commitment. Russell was appointed the Chief of Plastic Surgery for the Southeastern United States. He credits his time in the Air Force with further honing his surgical skills because of the volume and variety of cases referred to him. In 1985 Russell was honorably discharged from the Air Force at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and moved home to Lafayette, LA. Russell practiced medicine in Lafayette for 27 years until his retirement in 2012. He was a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons, and a Fellow in the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

His was a life lived in service to others, especially where his medical and surgical talents were needed. Russell served as chairman on the physician's advisory committee for the Louisiana Children's Special Health Services where he gave freely of his time and surgical skills to help children born with congenital defects. Russell also participated on the state and federal level in the fight to make breast reconstruction after mastectomy a covered benefit by health care insurers. His longest lasting and most rewarding volunteer endeavor was helping to coordinate medical/dental mission trips with dentist, Dr. Jerome Smith, of Lafayette, and anesthesiologist, Dr. Tom Watson, of Texarkana. These doctors and teams of volunteers travelled several times a year to a small medical and dental clinic in the town of Atoyac, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Over the course of 20 years, Russell witnessed the addition of a small hospital with several surgical suites where he was able to perform a variety of cases. He especially cherished the opportunity to help children born with cleft lip and palate defects. Russell also participated in several Mercy Ship and Hospital Plane medical missions in Central and South America.

Locally, Russell was a sponsor of Acadiana Youth, Inc., and the Carmelite Monastery. He served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Lafayette Alumni Association (Class of '91), and the Rotary Club of South Lafayette. Because of his many years of volunteerism and mission work, Russell was named a Paul Harris Fellow and presented with the Service Above Self Award by Rotary International. He also received the Service to Mankind Award from SERTOMA International. Russell cherished the time he spent in college at USL and remained especially close to his brothers in the PKT fraternity.

In his free time, Russell was no less busy. As a younger man he was an avid runner and completed several marathons including the Houston, Duluth, Chicago, and Boston marathons. He ran the Boston Marathon three times and was proud to have had the opportunity to participate in its 100th running in 1996. Russell also loved to snow ski and enjoyed many trips to Colorado and Utah with family and friends. Most of all, Russell and Carolyn's "happy place" was their lake house on Lake Sam Rayburn in East Texas. Many great memories were made there riding dirt bikes, golfing, fishing, waterskiing, and celebrating the Fourth of July with family and friends. Later in life, Russell became an avid golfer, which led to many new and lasting friendships.

Russell was preceded in death by his parents, John Harry Romero, Sr. and Mildred Chargois Romero; his brother, Captain John Harry Romero, Jr., USAF; sister-in-law Carrie Romero Durand; and Carolyn's parents, John Homer Bird and Lois Short Bird. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Bird Romero; son, Dr. Jason Jude Romero and wife, Tricia Wagner Romero; son, Dr. Jordan Thaddeus Romero; grandchildren, Lauren, Graham, Hudson, and Charles Romero; brothers, Dr. Robert Romero and Jerry Romero, and many nieces and nephews.

Russell accomplished much in his 72 years of life and credits much of his work ethic to time spent with his brothers, helping their parents in the Romero and Montgomery Dry Cleaning business. Russell loved and cherished his family and friends and was supremely proud of his most important legacy, his grandchildren, who loved their "Papa" so very much.

Pallbearers are Richard Fontenot, Vic Fulham, Mike Maraist, Tom Pritchard, Matthew Romero, and Dr. Jerome Smith. Honorary pallbearers are all of his PKT fraternity brothers, and all of the dentists, physicians, and volunteers who made his medical mission work possible. The family would like to thank Dr. Mike Berard, Dr. Ed Lyons, and Russell's very special helpers, Beverly Cribb, Pat Molaison, and Keith Thompson.

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to Mexico Ministries (, the Lafayette Carmelite Monastery, or the local charity of your choice.

Funeral services will be held in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Tuesday at a 10:00 AM Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in the St. John Cemetery. Lectors will be Matthew Romero and Jeanette Alcon and the Giftbearers will be his grandchildren. The Eulogists will be Jason Romero and Dr. Jerome Smith. Musical Selections will be "Pie Jesu", "Psalm 23", "Ave Maria", "Panis Angelicus" and "On Eagles' Wings".

The family will receive friends at Martin & Castille's DOWNTOWN location on Monday from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM and on Tuesday from 8:00 AM until time of the services.

A Rosary will be prayed in the funeral home Monday at 6:30 PM.

View the obituary and guestbook online at

Martin & Castille - DOWNTOWN, 330 St. Landry Street, Lafayette, Louisiana, 70506. 337-234-2311
Published in the The Advertiser from Feb. 13 to Feb. 16, 2020
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