ROY JOHN ROMANINI received his heavenly promotion Monday, the 4th of October, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family. He lived to the grand age of 91 years. Born into farming he continued his father’s legacy, living the faith-filled life of a farmer. An honorable man of integrity, Roy will be remembered by many for his love of farming, steadfast spirit, perseverance, wisdom, common sense, and his willingness to lend a hand to others in need. He was a patient, mighty Oak in every aspect of his life.
BORN November 18, 1929, in Bakersfield, California, to parents Isola and Pietro Romanini, Roy grew up with his older sister Lily, and four cousins, Dino, Willie, Guido, and Gino. It didn’t get any better than growing up on the “Old Ranch”. Roy attended Buttonwillow Union Grammar School where he enjoyed playing the trumpet in band. After attending Bakersfield High School, Roy continued farming with his father. Not long after Roy was drafted into the Army, his father Pietro passed away. As the only son, Roy received an honorable discharge to return home to manage the family farm.
THE day Roy met Jelsey Actis, a young teacher at Beardsley Elementary School, he knew “she was the one”. They were married at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bakersfield on October 9th, 1954. They built their life together in Buttonwillow with Roy farming and Jelsey teaching at Buttonwillow Union Grammar School. They had a wonderful relationship together for 67 years, with Roy only needing an occasional correction in Italian.
ROY was an exceptional, supportive, and dependable father. His children, Sandra and Pete, have remarkable memories growing up on the farm, raising animals for 4-H, and traveling to quarter horse shows throughout California and Nevada. When the time came for a horse show, he was always ready and willing to “load up the horses and go”. Sandra fondly remembers her father letting her, Pete, and Sam ride in the cotton trailer as he was pulling it to the gin.
FOR many years Roy farmed with his brother-in-law, Albert Ghilarducci. They had a successful farming partnership. Later, Roy began farming with his son, Pete. Farming with Pete was the pinnacle of Roy’s farming career, as they worked side by side for the last 45 years. The father/son bond that was forged is strong and will continue in Pete’s heart always.
IF we can gather our strength from those who have come before us, we as children have an abundant source of strength to draw upon. Dad used to say, “Anything you’re going through I’ve already experienced; tell me, my shoulders are broad.”
ROY loved dove and pheasant hunting as a young man, golfing with his buddies, traveling with his family, and mushroom hunting with the kids and his brother in-law Albert, niece Patty, and nephew Sam. He was particularly fond of spending time in Shell Beach with Jelsey.
LOCALLY, Roy was very active in his community. He was a member of Buttonwillow Lions Club, Buttonwillow Chamber of Commerce, Kern County Farm Bureau, and the Italian Heritage Dante Association, having served on its board of directors for several years. He was a faithful member of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church. Roy was an avid supporter of Cal State University Bakersfield and the annual fall barbeques dating back to the schools beginning.
ROY was very proud of his five beautiful granddaughters, Rena, Jenna, Alyssa, Alexandra, and Arianna. He enjoyed attending their school activities, dance recitals, and sporting events.
ROY was preceded in death by his parents, Isola and Pietro Romanini, and sister and brother-in-law, Lily and Albert Ghilarducci. He is survived by his wife Jelsey, his daughter Sandra Tilbury and her husband Tyler, their daughters Alexandra and Arianna, his son Pete Romanini and his wife Teri, their daughters Rena, Jenna and Alyssa, nephew Sam Ghilarducci and wife Diane, niece Patty DeShane and husband Dale, along with much loved great nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
THE family would like to thank Rosa Moreno, Rosa Del Toro, Cynthia Sanchez, and Maggie Reynoso, who worked tirelessly to enable Roy to stay comfortably at home. A special thank you to caregiver Zach Zuniga, who Roy grew to love as an honorary grandson.
THE family would also like to thank Dr. Ajay Patel, Dr. Maheep Virdi, Dr. David Dodson of Sansum Clinic, Dr. Syed Alam, and Dr. Rasham Sandhu. We extend our utmost appreciation to the Hoffmann Hospice team for the wonderful care and support shown to us through a difficult time.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am on Friday, October 15th, at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, located at 12300 Reina Road, Bakersfield. Donations may be made to the charity of your choosing.
WE will always remember Roy driving his pickup on a farm road with Titus, his big German Shepherd, sitting at his side.