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Friday, June 21, 2024


Jan. 5, 2004 – Maj. Gen. Jean A. Romney, retired adjutant general of the V.I. National Guard, died on Jan. 1 in New York City.
Viewing will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Friday at Government House on St. Croix. The funeral will follow at 11 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Christiansted, with burial to be in Kingshill Cemetery.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull ordered that flags in the territory be flown at half staff on Friday in Romney's honor.
Romney is survived by his wife, Beverly, and a daughter, Ayanna, of St. Croix; and by a daughter, Chivonne, of Washington, D.C.
Born on St. Croix, Romney joined the Army a year after graduating from Christiansted High School. Including his active Army and National Guard service, his career spanned 29 years.
He earned degrees from the Army War College and Catholic University of Puerto Rico and took a number of courses at the then-College of the Virgin Islands and at military institutions including the National Defense University.
Among other awards, he received the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.
His service with the V.I. National Guard began in April 1977 as a headquarters maintenance officer. He rose rapidly through the ranks and was named chief of staff, headquarters, in July 1990, then assistant adjutant general in August 1995. He became adjutant general in December 1996, a position he held until retiring on June 30, 2000.
At the ceremony in which he handed over the reins to his successor, Cleave A. McBean, Romney said: "My ascending to the position of adjutant general was perhaps the highlight of my career. But it did not come without hard work and dedication, qualities that were instilled in me when I joined the Army."
As adjutant general Romney also was executive director of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency. Retired Army Col. Gene J. Walker, who worked with him throughout his years at VITEMA, said "he was my statesman." Noting Romney's background in public service — as a senator in 1975-76 and as St. Croix administrator in the Juan Luis administration — before rising to command of the National Guard, Walker said he was active and well liked in the community.
A release from the V.I. National Guard said that its members "have suffered a tremendous loss of a father, friend, leader and a genuinely dedicated soldier."
Turnbull, in a Government House statement, said that Romney as a "distinguished native son served the people of the territory … during his noteworthy career." The governor also conveyed his sympathies "to the men and women of the Virgin Islands National Guard on the passing of their former leader, who made a positive contribution to improving the operations of the V.I. National Guard during his tenure."
Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, in a statement calling Romney "a true leader," described him as "a shining example of self-discipline, dedication and perseverance" who "personified the value of continuing education." Richards added that his "dedication to the youth of the Virgin Islands was highly admirable and an inspiration."
Arrangements are by James Memorial Funeral Home.

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