Al Romero turns 100

Jose Alfredo "Al" Romero of Bremerton, and a longtime resident of Craig (1943-1972), will celebrate his 100th birthday Saturday with a family get-together and brunch in his honor. The brunch will be held at his favorite restaurant for "pigs in a blanket," a pancake menu favorite at All Star Lanes in Silverdale, Wash. He and his wife, Juanita, who celebrated her 90th birthday Dec. 20, want a simple celebration.

Romero was born in Taos, N.M., to Severiano and Felecitas Romero. He had a younger sister, Maria Isabel, who died in 1928.

Romero lost his parents and many relatives during the influenza epidemic of 1918. He was infected but was one of the few who survived. Romero's family heritage and legacy is part of the most widespread extended family groups in New Mexico's history. Romero is an avid storyteller and has a remarkable recollection of the byways, as told by his long-passed relatives and elders.

He continues to assist his sons, Leo and Patrick, to compile and preserve family history and genealogy information dating as far back to 1528 in Spain.

Al married Juanita Cruz in 1933 in Taos and had two sons, Patrick and Leo, and a daughter, Liz. They move to Craig in 1943, residing there until after their three children graduated from high school. They moved to Bremerton in 1975 to be near their son Leo, who retired from the Naval submarine service while serving at Kitsap Submarine Base in Bangor, Wash.

Leo and his wife, Jean, look after their care and daily needs as necessary. Patrick resides in Salem, Ore; Liz Hendrickson resides in Cortez.

Al and Juanita's immediate relatives include seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. The grandchildren refer him to as "Pappy."

Romero is described by family as a strong and hearty individual. He said his sustained health could be attributed to "hard work" and his faith.

He retired as a building and yard maintenance custodian. His work included construction, carpentry, coal mining and ranch work. He keeps busy maintaining his yard and helps his son Leo maintain a mini-park acre lot, referred to as "Pappy's Park."

His hobbies are mathematics, geometry and solving word puzzles.

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