Obituary: Michael Anthony Romano, 94

by | Oct 19, 2023

‘A real East Greenwich hero,’ writes former student Mark Thompson

Michael Anthony Romano, 94, died peacefully on October 16, in Branford, Conn. Michael was born on Nov. 24, 1928, in New York City, the son of Michael and Concetta M. (DeRienzis) Romano. Michael was survived by his brother, John A. Romano of East Greenwich, his sister, Drusalina (Romano) Weild of Pelham, New York, his stepson Robert C. Blake of Madison, Conn., his stepson David R. Blake of Exeter, R.I., 5 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and their families. Michael was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Elizabeth (“Betty” Clemens) Blake Romano, stepsons John C. Blake and William H. Blake, his brother, Hannibal Romano, and his parents.

Michael graduated from East Greenwich schools – including the former East Greenwich Academy – Yale University, Columbia University of NYC, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Michael was a veteran, having served in the US Army, 1953-54.

Michael and Elizabeth were married in New York City in 1964, when he became the stepfather of John, Robert, William, and David Blake.

Michael lived nearly his entire life in East Greenwich, except when at Yale University, in the U.S. Army, at Columbia University, and during his past nine years in Connecticut, to be close to his family, Robert and Joanne Blake. Michael taught English, speech, and theater in East Greenwich schools and theater at Rhode Island Community College (CCRI). He served as chairman of the Theatre and Speech Department, until retiring as a professor in 1998. Over the span of his career, he taught and mentored his students, was honored with numerous awards in education and theater, and was involved with community and regional theater from Cape Cod to Off-Broadway in New York.

Michael will be buried in the Quidnessett Cemetery in North Kingstown, alongside his wife Elizabeth and stepsons John and William. Burial will be private, at the convenience of the family.

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EG News Obituary Policy: We post obituaries relevant to our readers. If you would like to share an obituary, send it to [email protected]. Put “obituary” in the subject line. 

Posted 10/19/23

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Chris Brennan
Chris Brennan
October 20, 2023 10:53 am

So sorry to hear of the passing of Mike, such a positive influence and mentor to
So many students in EGHS.
He was a man of integrity, charm and a person you wanted to be around, always positive and engaging, he will be missed!
My sincere condolences to the families!

Mathias Wilkinson
Mathias Wilkinson
October 20, 2023 3:39 pm

“A true East Greenwich hero”: AMEN!!

Judy Stenberg
Judy Stenberg
October 20, 2023 6:44 pm

A great loss.

Joyce Wilson Williams
Joyce Wilson Williams
October 20, 2023 8:01 pm

He was a wonderful teacher and I learned so much from him. I am from the class of 1965!

Dave Mulholland
October 20, 2023 8:21 pm

The foremost influence in my young life as a student ,supportive, reassuring, and consequential. His legacy will live on in E.G.H.S. in my heart and in the town East Greenwich.

Judi McCullough
Judi McCullough
October 20, 2023 10:46 pm

He cared!

Jean Jones
Jean Jones
October 22, 2023 12:19 pm

Mike was a sweet man – I took care of Betty for a while and enjoyed seeing them. Many fond memories.

Joyce Wilson Williams
Joyce Wilson Williams
October 22, 2023 8:35 pm

Mr. Romano was a wonderful teacher and I learned so much from him. I am sure he inspired many in his time as a teacher.
Joyce Wilson Williams – Class of 1965

Tim Manzi
Tim Manzi
October 26, 2023 8:53 am

My sincere condolences go out to Bobby, David and family for the loss of another fine man of many attributes. The Blake boys were fortunate to have this man come into their lives as well as the many students that he mentored. May Mike rest in peace.

Robert (Terry) Bergeron
Robert (Terry) Bergeron
October 23, 2023 9:47 am

Mike built the EGHS Drama Club to statewide prominence, winning numerous awards. My brother Dan and I both appeared in his plays. (Dan still does community theater in NH.) Mike gave us a love and appreciation of theater. He was a true EGHS hero, and we will never forget him.

Donna Rice
Donna Rice
October 23, 2023 12:23 pm

A superior teacher and wonderful drama coach, and friend. I learned so much from him. He lived a fantastic life.
Donna Wilson Rice, class of 1965


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