Rev. Joseph E. Romano RUTLAND — The Rev. Joseph E. Romano, 82, of Brooksville, Florida, formerly of Rutland, passed away on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at Bayfront Health in Brooksville. He was born in Rutland on Oct. 18, 1936, to Joseph E. Romano Sr. and Veronica Greeno Romano. He was the oldest of four children Marilyn Buckley, Charles and Steve. His siblings live in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He attended St. Peter Elementary School. He graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy in 1955. Going forward from MSJ, Father Joe graduated from Saint Michael’s College, the Pontifical University of Montreal and the University of Hawaii. Throughout his years as a student, he earned degrees in philosophy and theology, Master of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. Father Romano was ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Bishop Robert F. Joyce on May 24, 1963, at St. Peter Church in Rutland. During the past 48 years, he had served many parishes in Vermont, including those in Burlington, Chittenden, Essex Junction, Montpelier, Northfield, Orwell, Pittsford, Proctor, Richford and Springfield. His roles included associate pastor, religious education coordinator, pastor and diocesan director of the Cursillo Movement. Father Joe served as a Navy chaplain from 1969 to 1973. He was assigned to hospital duty and worked with psychiatric patients. When ashore, he worked in the drug rehabilitation clinic. He served two tours in the Vietnam War for which he was awarded medals from both the U.S. and Vietnam governments. From 1979-1983, he supervised four chaplains with the Third Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan. He was also appointed to the Naval Training Command in Orlando, Florida, where he supervised religious education programs for some 800 students. He prepared religious lay leaders of all faiths for religious duties while at sea in the absence of a chaplain. After several heart attacks, Father Joe was discharged from the Navy for medical reasons. He retired with the rank of Commander. During his recovery time, Father pursued a degree in Clinical Psychology. With this degree, he worked part time helping the adolescent and adult population. Along with this effort, Father served as a retreat master and presenter of workshops on psychology and religion. In 1993, Father Joe’s health had improved to the extent that he returned to pastoral ministry as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Pittsford. On July 1, 2011, Father retired from active ministry with the status of senior priest. Wanting to be close to his family, Father retired to the Berkshires, namely Cheshire. Father continued his ministry by helping out in the parishes in Berkshire County and he was a member of UNICO of Pittsfield. Father’s favorite saying was: “When God forgives, He forgets. As our God is always forgiving, so must we.” Funeral services for Father Joseph E. Romano, who died July 2, 2019, will be Tuesday, July 9, 2019, with a concelebrated Liturgy of Christian Burial at 12 p.m. noon at St. Joseph’s Church, 414 North St., Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Father Romano will repose at St. Joseph’s Church Tuesday from 10 a.m. to the time of the Mass. Burial will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to UNICO of Pittsfield, in care of the Flynn & Dagnoli-Bencivenga Funeral Home, 5 Elm St., Pittsfield, MA 01201 who is in charge of arrangements. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.