George (Joe) L. Roman, 77, passed away peacefully in the presence of his daughter, Yolanda, and her partner, Raquel, on Thursday, November 21, 2019.
Born on September 3, 1942 in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico to Mariana and Miguel Roman. He was the 5th of 8 children and the only male among 7 sisters. He grew up in New York City and raised his family in the Bronx.
Drafted in 1967 during the War in Vietnam, George proudly served in the US Army and was stationed in Germany. As a Senior Wheeled Vehicle Driver, George drove 5-ton commercial tractor throughout Germany, Belgium and Holland, hauling commissary goods, ammunition and Armored Personnel Carriers to name a few. He earned an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1970 and enlisted in the United States Army Reserve from 1970-1974. Lastly, George served in the United States Army National Guard for 16 years and ended his successful military career as Staff Sargent E7 in 1990. In the 23 years of proudly serving his country, George was given the NY State Military Commendation Medal, NY State Medal for Humane Service and NY State Aid to Civil Authorities.
George worked at Clarkwood Corporation in Totowa, New Jersey for many years and eventually retired from Hayden on the Hudson Condominium as a Senior Handyman at the age of 58. For many years, he represented and defended his fellow employees as their labor union representative. He was a champion of worker’s rights.
At retirement, George found great joy in cooking for others and was known for his unforgettable “arroz con gandules”. He enjoyed watching cooking shows like, Yan Can Cook and he would often say, “If Yan Can Cook, I can cook too”. George was a member of the Rain Boston Road Senior Center Billiards Team where he enjoyed competing and winning in tournaments. He had an impressive collection of vinyl from Tito Rodriguez to Daniel Santos. At family gatherings, George would lead us in singing Doo Wop, often having pity on our attempt to harmonize, as he reminisced about singing underneath the street lamp post on the corner with his childhood buddy’s.
George was a true gentleman and man of character where opening doors and a firm handshake was valued. He was a family man whose love for us had no limits and his words of encouragement and advice will live on forever.
George is preceded in death by his parents, Mariana and Miguel, his sisters, Carmen, Virginia and Naomi and his son, Anthony and his wife, Marina. George is survived by his children, Maritza, Joanne, George Jr. Steven and Yolanda, his sisters, Zeneida Carnivalli, Olga Roman, Minerva Urrutia and Cecilia Boswell, his 9 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great granddaughter, many nieces and nephews and his companion of 9 years, Elsa Paez.
A memorial service to celebrate and honor his life will be held on Sunday, December 15, 2019 from 2pm until 6pm. In lieu of flowers and as an expression of sympathy, the family suggests memorial contributions in George’s name to DAV (Disabled American Veterans).
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