UTICA - Mr. David F. Romano, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at age 81, on Sunday September 5, 2021, with his beloved Jackie by his side.
Born in Utica on March 28, 1940, David was the son of the late Frank M. and Ella (Centolella) Romano. He was a graduate of T.R. Proctor High School/Class of 1958, with high honors in mathematics. He received his engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy in 1962, and practiced engineering professionally for over 30 years. David married his teenage sweetheart, C. Jacqueline Lenczewski (Jackie) on August 4th, 1962. They were together since the age of fourteen and recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. "Trip over love, you can get up. Fall in love and you fall forever."
As the son of the Utica City Engineer Frank M. Romano, who also managed his own construction company, David was well-positioned to embark on an engineering career of his own. After working for Stone & Webster Engineering and living in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maryland, David was determined to move his family back to Utica. In 1965, David began his career with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). During his 34 years with the Region 2 NYSDOT, David took on increasingly complex tasks as structures designer and Engineer-in-Charge, followed by 22 years as the Regional Construction Engineer, a leadership role where he was highly respected across New York State. David has been instrumental in building many of the Region's significant highways, bridges, and canal projects: the Amsterdam Arterial, the Wind Bridge in Little Falls, restoration of Delta Dam, the Marcy-Utica-Deerfield project, as well as reconstruction or rehabilitation of state highways in nearly every village and city in NYSDOT Region 2 (Hamilton, Herkimer, Fulton, Madison, Montgomery, and Oneida Counties). Always, he left his mark of sound engineering and quality construction. Most importantly, he was a mentor and an advocate for his staff, he imparted on them attributes of partnering and teamwork. He is fondly remembered by both NYSDOT employees and contractors throughout the region for his unending optimism, can-do attitude, and integrity.
One of David's true passions was the automobile. Always fascinated by cars as a young man his love for them grew during the post-war heyday of the American car industry. He knew each vehicle that came off the assembly line of the big three auto makers. He also knew every pertinent detail of their assemblage - the engines, drivetrains, and exterior and interior features. Every major event in his life had a side story of the cars he drove or what friends or family were driving at that time. He never lost the knowledge of the make and models of these cars. In fact, to the contrary, he kept up with the industry by reading three major car magazines a month and visiting the car lots almost weekly, even when he was not in the market. He left many sales representatives amused or frustrated when he would tell them much more about their cars than they knew themselves. Later in his life he settled on large SUVs such as the Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition. He wanted vehicles with enough room so that friends could join them comfortably. David was the ultimate designated driver and chauffer for his children and grandchildren. His SUV would show up squeaky clean for any ride or road trip. His cars were washed and vacuumed by him, and only him, weekly and possibly more often if it rained.
David is survived by his cherished wife, Jackie, his three children: Kenneth (Christine), of Rochester, NY, Paul (Karen), of Sauquoit, NY, and Linda Lubey (Stephen), of New Hartford, NY; six grandchildren, Caprie and Kenny Romano, Kelsey and Sam Romano, and Reed and Matthew Lubey. He also leaves his beloved sister, Lucretia Buccolo, of Sylvan Beach, NY; brother-in-law and racing buddy, Joseph Giannotti, of Frankfort, NY, nephews David Buccolo, of Garden City, ID, Gary Giannotti, of West Palm Beach, FL, and niece, Debbie Vandorden, of Farmington, NY. He also leaves his Aunt Gloria (Centolella) DiMare of Rocklin, CA, many cousins and close friends, including lifelong friends Charlie Natale and Philly Cittadino.
David was predeceased by his sister-in-law Carol Giannotti, his cousin-in-law and friend Nick LaBella, his parents, his in-laws, Joseph and Sophie Lenczewski, and his aunts and uncles, Mary Romano, Christina Romano, Thomas Romano, Rose Gigliotti, Raymond Centolella, and Elvera Roefaro.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial on Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. in St. Anthony/St. Agnes Church. Private entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum.
In his memory, please consider an act of kindness for someone in need or donations to your charity of choice.