Warren Ladd Romans died Wednesday, August 1. Born in Fairbury, Nebraska, October 19, 1918, he was raised in Lincoln. He attended the University of Nebraska, joining the Reserve Officersí Training Corps to begin a 30-year military career. He was commissioned in the US Army in 1941 after Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was then deployed to Hawaii. There he met 2nd Lieutenant Sue Avery Aldridge, US Army Nurse Corps, from Petersburg, Virginia. Sue and Warren were married on the Big Island of Hawaii on June 1, 1943. When Sue passed away on June 5 this year, she and Warren had been happily married for 69 years.
During WWII, Warren served in the South Pacific in the 40th Infantry Division. In recognition of leadership and meritorious conduct in three amphibious landings and subsequent military action on enemy-held islands, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and numerous other citations for his bravery, heroism, and exceptional service. After the war, he was posted in Korea, Texas, Germany, Greenland, and finally Fort Monroe, which led to his and Sueís decision to retire in Williamsburg, where they resided since 1962.
After retirement from the Army, Warren joined Peninsula Bank and Trust (now SunTrust Bank) from which he retired as a vice-president in 1983. He served in various roles, but his favorite was management of the branch at Jamestown Road and Route 199.
Warren held numerous roles in municipal, charitable, and volunteer organizations. He served on Williamsburgís Financial Advisory Board, Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Industrial Development Commission, and Board of Zoning Appeals. He represented the city on the Thomas Nelson Community College Local Board, the Peninsula Crime Line Board, and the Virginia Power Consumer Advisory Board. Over the years, he served on Williamsburg boards of the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the United Way, Friends of the Library, and the Colonial Capital branch of the APVA. Warren was an active member of the German Crown Colony Club for 53 years.
Warren volunteered in programs assisting others. He helped destitute or ailing tourists through the Hospital Auxiliary Assist program; he calmed first-time blood donors by focusing on their generous gift of life. Most important, he shared his love of booksóas he did with his own familyóby reading to young students at Rawls Byrd Elementary School, inspiring them to see as he said about his own lovely library, ìÖthe real beauty is between the covers.î
Warren was never known as reticent: indeed, he said he wished to ìbe remembered for a forthright generosity of opinion.î He was gregarious, possessing a dry, witty sense of humor. Among his contemporaries, Warren and his wife Sue were renowned for entertaining with ease and gusto, being the first and last couple on the dance floor, and welcoming newcomers to their community. Among his children and grandchildren, his life lived with care, determination, chivalry, love of beauty, and love of learning will remain life-long lessons.
Warren is survived by his sister Elizabeth Waugh Brownlee and children Susan Romans, Ladd Romans, Katherine Romans Hall, and Peter Romans. His life has been blessed by seven loving grandchildren: Scott Vernon, Megan Vernon, Zachary Romans, Sam Hall, David Romans, Susan Firth, Elizabeth Hall, and five adorable great-grandchildren: Cameron, Josh, and Max Romans and Elise and Emma Vernon.
A memorial celebrating Warrenís life will be held on Friday August 17 at 11:00 in the auditorium of The Williamsburg Landing Building. Refreshments will follow the service.
Gifts in Warrenís memory may be made to
the Library at Rawls Byrd Elementary School
at 112 Laurel Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23185.