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Office of News & Public Affairs

In Memoriam: Director of Capital Construction,
Long-time BC Employee John Romeo


CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (8-7-11) – A funeral Mass for John S. Romeo, director of capital construction at Boston College and supervisor of the recent renovation of Gasson Hall, will be held at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 10. Mr. Romeo, a University employee for more than 30 years, died on August 6 at a hospice in Danvers after a long battle with cancer. He was 60.

John Romeo
John Romeo

“John was fastidious in everything that he did,” said University Vice President for Facilities Management Daniel Bourque. “Everything he did was done with quality.

“He was very knowledgeable about all aspects of construction, but he was a gentle and caring person too,” Bourque said. “He was a great friend.”

Bourque noted that Mr. Romeo took special pride in overseeing the nearly completed restoration of Gasson Hall, the University’s signature building, which has included a complete and complex refurbishment of the structure and tower’s exterior stone facing.

“John took great pride in the Gasson Hall project,” Bourque said. “He attended to every detail himself – and it showed in the quality of the final work.”

Mr. Romeo was instrumental in the establishment and supervision of Facilities Management’s Special Projects Group – a team of skilled tradesmen who handle emergency and time-sensitive construction projects on campus. He also mentored numerous new employees in Facilities Management over the years, Bourque said.

“John worked from early morning to late at night,” Bourque added. “But, in everything he did, he was always most concerned with the quality of our University projects.”

Mr. Romeo was instrumental in the establishment and supervision of Facilities Management’s Special Projects Group – a team of skilled tradesmen who handle emergency and time-sensitive construction projects on campus. He also advised numerous new employees in Facilities Management over the years.

“In more ways than people may realize, he was very much a mentor with Capital Projects,” said Associate Vice President for Capital Projects Mary Nardone. “He did it through every stage of his career.

“I know that I certainly miss him as a sounding board,” she said. “He had the institutional experience that only comes with 30 years and he was willing – at any time – to share it. He was a huge coach and mentor in our department."

Mr. Romeo grew up in Waltham, Mass. and worked as a carpenter to put himself through Northeastern University. After graduation, he joined the management staff of the Perini Corporation, a major construction firm in Framingham, Mass.

In the late 1970s, he was working for Perini in a supervisory capacity at a dormitory construction project on BC’s lower campus when BC’s then-Director of Buildings and Grounds,  Fred Pennino, took notice of Mr. Romeo’s knowledge of construction techniques and ability to manage projects effectively. Pennino hired Mr. Romeo to help oversee future University construction projects, and Mr. Romeo took charge of scores of new construction and major renovation works on campus over the next three decades.

On May 17, University President William P. Leahy, S.J., was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Healing said in St. Mary’s Chapel for Mr. Romeo. The chapel was filled to capacity with colleagues and friends of Mr. Romeo and his family who attended the Mass in a demonstration of friendship and support.

Mr. Romeo, an avid Boston College sports fan who also enjoyed boating and his vacation home on Cape Cod, is survived by his wife Jeannette (Richard) Romeo, director of Graduate Student Services in the Lynch School of Education; and his daughter, Jennifer S. Romeo.

Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main St. (Route 20) in Waltham. Burial will be private. Memory book is available here

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support melanoma research under the direction of Donald Lawrence, MD at the Massachusetts General Cancer Care Center, 165 Cambridge St., Suite 600, Boston, Mass. 02114; or to support the Children of Adam Richard Memorial Fund, c/o TD Bank North, 177 Broad St., Hudson, Mass.

--Reid Oslin is an associate director in the Office of News & Public Affairs; oslin@bc.edu