ALBERT ROMANO: A Gentleman and a Gentle Man
Albert “Al” Romano, of Worthington, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on Saturday, April 8, 2023. Born in Dennison, Ohio on November 20, 1934, Al was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mary (Condelli) Romano, brothers Bruno and Armand, and sister Gina (Barney). He is survived by his wife Sandy, his sons Anthony and Dante (Andreina), his brother Raymond, numerous nieces and nephews, and their children.
Fascinated by words and their meanings from an early age, Al began to display his formidable writing skills as a youth. Having graduated from St. Mary High School in Lancaster, he majored in English at The Ohio State University, where as a student journalist for The Lantern, he was the first to interview the Buckeyes’ brand-new head football coach: Woody Hayes.
After finishing his degree, Al started out in journalism as a staff writer for the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette and a stringer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Despite having completed the ROTC program at OSU, he also enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as an E-1, eventually rising to the rank of Specialist by the time of his honorable discharge.
By the mid-1960s, Al had entered the world of advertising as an agency copywriter. At Hameroff & Associates, he met the love of his life Sandra, whom he married in 1968. He soon struck out on his own as a freelance copywriter, composing everything from marketing collateral to annual reports for some of the biggest firms on the Fortune 500. He specialized in coming up with names, including “Bank One” and “AppleCare.”
After the Romanos had moved to Lancaster where they raised their two sons, they also began a project that would fulfill a longtime visionary dream for Al: bringing live performances of classical music to his hometown. To that end, Al and Sandy founded Cameo Concerts, a nonprofit organization which within a few years gained sufficient momentum and capital to present the Lancaster Festival. To this day, the Festival continues as a cherished tradition in Lancaster, bringing families back together each summer from all over the country.
Back in Columbus by the 2000s, Al’s career began to shift as people noticed his sonorous baritone speaking voice. Instead of just having him write copy, clients started asking him to read it as a voiceover talent. That led to perhaps the greatest joy he ever derived from his work – as the creator and host of Sacred Soundings. Produced by St. Gabriel Radio (820 AM), the program explores the richness and beauty of the Catholic tradition in sacred liturgical music, centered on Gregorian Chant.
Accomplishments aside, words can barely describe the kind and saintly person who was Al Romano. The life of any party, he and Sandy shared a passion for hospitality and entertaining. With his infectious laugh and piercing wit, he was wicked at wordplay and a perennial purveyor of pun-tastic perfection. Throughout life he remained steadfast in his Catholic faith, devoted to his family, and charitable to all. Along the way, Al left a vast reservoir of goodwill and fond memories with friends and neighbors from each chapter of life, every place he called home.
Calling hours will be 10 to 11am on Friday, April 14, followed by a funeral Mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, located at 6899 Smoky Row Road in Columbus.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Gabriel Catholic Radio, Capital City Hospice, or a charitable organization of your choice.
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