We learned the sad news that Alberto Romero, department chair and instructor of modern languages emeritus, passed away at the age of 84 on June 20, 2020. For 31 years, from 1974 until his retirement in 2005, Señor Romero dedicated his life to the students in his charge. Not only was he a teacher of Spanish and Spanish Literature and department chair who brought Chinese instruction to the Hill, he was a dorm parent, student adviser, coach, and mentor, who did it all with kindness, compassion, patience, passion, and good humor. Ever the educator, Alberto continued teaching students on many trips around the world during spring breaks and summers in Spain. Many of his students and colleagues fondly recall his bright smile, hearty laugh, and signature beard.
Alberto and his beloved wife, Tina, were a dynamic duo who epitomized the spirit of The Hill School, The Family Boarding School. They were the proud and loving parents of two sons and “fac brats”, Andres ’85 and Horacio ’87, who first arrived on campus when they were ages 7 and 4. The Romeros also were mom and dad to the hundreds of students fortunate to live in the dormitory with them, first in Upper School and then in Rolfe Dormitory for 26 years, and those far from home seeking refuge and reminders of home.
When Alberto arrived at Hill in 1974, he had spent the previous five years teaching at Lehigh University. What many might not know is his teaching career at Hill and Lehigh was preceded by a 10-year vocation as a monk, priest, and friar in the Dominican Order. Alberto studied philosophy and theology in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. When he came back from Europe to the Americas, that is when he made the very difficult decision to change his vocational path. After three years in New York City, he launched his teaching career at Lehigh.
During a spring 2005 Chapel Talk he delivered a few weeks before he’d retire from The Hill, Señor Romero urged students: “Try to imprint in your hearts the words that the great John Paul, II used to repeat especially to young people: NON AVETE PAURA: Don’t be afraid, that is, be brave, love life, be positive . . . Life is full of surprising contradictions, full of paradoxes, which often are a source of headaches, bewilderment, perplexity, but your positive mindset can change them into a source of energy and learning.”
Alberto Romero was definitely a source of energy and learning, and we will greatly miss his light.
Alberto was predeceased by Tina in October 2019. He is survived by his son, Andrés ’85, and his three children, Mary Alexandra, William Andres, Isabelle Josefina ; son, Horacio ’87, and his wife, Rupal; and their son, Vijay Samuel. Services details are forthcoming.
On behalf of the entire Hill community, we express our deepest condolences to the entire Romero family.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:
Andrés M. Romero
711 Cosmopolitan Dr., NE #405
Atlanta, GA 30324
J. Horacio Romero
158 Walker St. SW, #5
Atlanta GA 30313