A photo of James E. “J.B.” Romano

James E. “J.B.” Romano

April 24, 1943 - July 29, 2022

James E. “J.B.” Romano, age 79, passed away suddenly on July 29, 2022. Jimmy was born on April 24, 1943, to Ellen M. Romano Jenkins (Achenbach) and James Daniel Romano.

Jimmy grew up in Holloway Terrace, New Castle, Delaware, attended Rosehill and Colwyck Elementary schools and then De la Warr High School, graduating in 1961.    He joined the Navy on January 31, 1962, and spent two years based at Naval Station Pearl Harbor and 2-1/2 years in San Diego, California, stationed aboard the USS NEREUS (AS-17) until his discharge on May 27, 1966.

Upon returning home, Jimmy worked for Clarence Burris & Sons as a bricklayer.

During 1975 he secured a position in New Castle County Government eventually retiring in 2005 as an Administrator, Community Development & Housing.

Jimmy joined Holloway Terrace Volunteer Fire Company as a junior firefighter at the age of 16.  He went on to spend a lifetime of serving others as an active firefighter and Officer of the Fire Company for more than 60 consecutive years.  His leadership roles in the Fire Company included but were not limited to Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Board of Director, and Vice President.  After 20 years he earned Active Life Membership and went on to receive numerous Awards and Recognitions such as the prestigious Member of the Year twice.

Jimmy was selected to serve as Chairman of the Fire Company’s New Building Committee and oversaw the construction of the Fire Company’s award-winning Fire Prevention Float.  Christmas time would have never been the same for the children without Jimmy suiting up as Jolly Old St. Nick, “Santa Claus.”  The yearly Children’s Christmas Lunch and talking to the children was his most favorite time of the year.

Jimmy served on various Committees of the New Castle County and the Delaware State Firefighters Associations and he represented Holloway Terrace as a delegate to the DVFA.  He was also an active member of the Delaware Fire Chiefs Association.  For many years he coordinated and chaired Holloway Terrace’s Annual Golf Tournament.

In addition, Jimmy helped organize St. Hedwig’s Polish Festival for many years with Leonard Szafranski and Steve Burg, along with many others.  He is also a member of The American Legion in Claymont.

Jimmy’s friends were also dear to his heart. He was a good friend of Benny Rizzo and the entire Rizzo family. He loved his Rizzo wine and in the most recent years, he cherished the fact that the wine cellar was his every Thursday so that he could have lunch with his friends. This day was sacred. Mary Ann says they always had to plan around Thursday lunches at the wine cellar. They still have close friends that were so close that to this day they are called aunt and uncle. The friendships he accumulated over a lifetime were always dear to his heart.

Jimmy is predeceased by his parents, Ellen M. Romano Jenkins and James Daniel Romano; sister-in-law Dorothy M. Romano (Hunter); brother-in-law Richard J. Machulski.  He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Mary Ann B. (Machulski) and sons, Anthony J. and Daniel V. (Brianna Wendt); grandchildren Luke, Alex and Jack Romano and Makayla Wendt; brothers Wayne A., Lynwood G. “Pete”, Donald “Barry” (Nancy) and Christopher D. Romano (Marilyn); sisters, Mary E. Romano (Diana Grunde), and Sheila Wilson Murray Barnette; brother-in-laws Leon F. (Marge), Thomas A. (Nancy Crowder) Machulski; sister-in-laws Bernadette E. Muto, Barbara F. Bell (Bill), and Patricia Machulski; and many, many nieces and nephews.

Jimmy will always be remembered for his jokes and for loving to roast others. He was kind, gentle, endearing, jovial and made friends wherever he went.  He would often ask anyone new “how old do I look?” just to start a conversation and elicit a compliment. His family considered him a caring “Godfather”. He just brightened everyone’s day and he was so loved. Upon the death of his father, he seriously took on the responsibility of keeping the family together by starting family picnics and developing a family tree to educate the younger generation of the family’s history.  He absolutely loved making ravioli for family dinners and would give the recipe and show anyone who wanted to learn how to make them. He so loved all his family. Jimmy was also very, very proud of his service in the Navy and in the Holloway Terrace Fire Company. He will be greatly missed by all.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 6 pm until 8 pm on Thursday, August 4, 2022, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 North DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE. A second visitation for family and friends will be held from 11 am until 12 pm on Friday, August 5, 2022, at St. Hedwig Church, 408 South Harrison Street, Wilmington, DE, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 12 pm. Interment will follow in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE. Following burial, a meal will be served at the Holloway Terrace Volunteer Company, 700 West Avenue, New Castle, Delaware 19720.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Jimmy’s memory to St. Hedwig’s Church, 408 South Harrison Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19805 or to Holloway Terrace Volunteer Company, Ladies Auxiliary, 700 West Avenue, New Castle, Delaware 19720.

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17 Condolences for James E. “J.B.” Romano

  • So sorry about Jim’s passing away. I knew Jim from high school from when we payed football. He was a year ahead of me. I remember him as one of the nicest guys I knew. He had a great sense of humor and was just a caring person. I remember running into to Jim and Mary at Brandywine State Park and talking about our families and Disney World. I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend his services and express my condolences in person. I’m in Massachusetts and won’t be home in time to attend.

  • Jim helped me as a single parent to obtain a much needed roof through a county program. The contractor was kind of a mess. Jim helped quite a bit to make this run smooth. I am forever grateful. Rest in peace!

  • To The Romano/Machulski Families,
    I was so, so sorry to hear of Jimmy’s passing. I will keep you all in my prayers that God will give you peace and strength to get through this difficult time.
    Love,
    Kathy

  • Dear Mary and the Romano Family-I am so sorry for your loss. JB was a great guy. I shared a lot of laughs with him whenever we saw each other. He was always so kind and helpful. Even when you were having a bad day, JB would say something that would pick you up and make you smile. Delaware’s Fire Service has lost a really good man. He will be sadly missed. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • What can you say about the guy that loved everyone and everyone loved him? If you got to know him, you got to know his family too and their unselfish service to others and the community. He was the guy who always did everything the right way and always gave 110% every single time. He was the guy who always had one of those “Dad” jokes that was literally so bad- but the way he told it made it funny…you should have seen at some of the fire company or County meetings, “working the room” to say hello to old friends and share his latest laugh. He was the guy who was fiercely loyal to his family and equally loyal to his friends. He was a guy who would share his recipes, his construction knowledge or bricklaying talents. When you needed some other kind of help, he would share his connections to other people. He was the guy who was a mentor to the younger members around the fire station, as well as a trusted advisor and friend to the “seasoned” members. He would share his culinary skills and sometimes he would share his wine. He was “that” guy. May the memories of JB’s life be a blessing and a comfort to you. He was a great friend and made this world a better place.

  • Mary Ann and family my sincere condolences on Jimmy’s passing. He was one of Holloway Terrace’s best. He was well loved and will be fondly remember by many.
    Love & Prayers
    Claire

  • Growing up Jim was like a big brother to me and will be deeply missed but I will never forget the memories. Rest in peace J B.

  • So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I worked with him at NCC. He was always a positive, funny person. My condolences to the family💕

  • Mary Ann and family our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May God give you comfort and strength during this difficult time.
    JB was such a wonderful, caring person and will be missed by all. Love Marge and Mark❤️

  • Danny sorry to hear of your dad passing be blessed and we are thinking about you the crew from Facility Maintenance at the County,Sandy.

  • Maryann and family,
    My family (Laura, Michael and me…Lena’s kids) and my husband John send our love, and deepest condolences. Jimmy was always such an enthusiastic “cugino”. We remember fondly his efforts to get all the Italian shoots mapped onto a family tree, and to get us all together when possible. As my brother said to me when we got the news, “He always had a smile on his face.” I last saw him when he hosted our Italian-Australian cousin Luciana at the famous wine cellar a few summers back and only kept tabs on him through FB. But what a life! Sorry I can’t come up tonight or tomorrow but will try to visit next time I’m in DE. Blessings on all of you as you mourn his passing.

  • JB’s obituary says it all. He was a really great guy and will be surely missed by all who knew him and loved him. May all your wonderful memories help you through this difficult time. Prayers, Joan & Casey

  • So sorry to hear of Jimmy’s passing. I met him many years ago at the Rizzo wine cellar, and considered him a very good friend. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. RIP

  • Sorry for your loss Mary Ann and family. Jim was a great guy and will be missed.

  • The World has lost a good. He will make a great Angel as God greets him at the pearly gates.

  • Mary
    I am very sorry for you and your family for the loss of your brother. He sounds like a very kind and generous man who loved his family , served his country and community and enjoyed his live. You are in my thoughts.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, he will be truly missed. I remember when you guys lived across the street from us on 7th street.