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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Jan. 5, 2004 – Retired Adj. Gen. of the V.I. National Guard Maj. Gen. Jean A. Romney died on Jan. 1 in New York City.
Viewing will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, followed by a funeral service at 10 a.m., both at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Christiansted.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly, and daughter Ayanna of St. Croix and by daughter Chivonne of Washington, D.C.
Born on St. Croix, Romney joined the U.S. Army one year after graduating from then-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 with the then-College of the Virgin Islands and with Army professional institutions, including National Defense University.
He received many Army decorations and badges, including Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal, among other awards.
His years of service with the National Guard began in April 1977 as a maintenance officer at the V.I. Headquarters. He rose rapidly through the ranks with the V.I. Army National Guard until he was named chief of staff, headquarters, in July 1990; then assistant adjutant general in August 1995, and became adjutant general in December of 1996, a position he held until June 30, 2000, when he retired.
Speaking at the 2000 ceremony which handed over the reins to the new Adj. Gen. 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 one year after graduating from high school."
By virtue of holding the position of adjutant general, he was also executive director of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency. Army Col. (Retired). Army Col. (Retired) Gene J. Walker, who worked with him throughout his years at VITEMA, said "he was my statesman," a real statesman. Noting that he had a background in V.I. public service before becoming integral in the National Guard — as a senator in 1975-76 and as St. Croix administrator during the Juan Luis Administration — Walker said he was active and well liked in the community, with many friends.
"The members of the Virgin Islands National Guard have suffered a tremendous loss of a father, friend, leader and a genuinely dedicated soldier," a release from the V.I. National Guard said. Members "wish to express their sincerest condolences to Major General Romney's family."
Condolences were extended to the family and friends in a release from the Office of Governor. "This distinguished native son served the people of the territory … during his noteworthy career. Additionally," Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said, "I convey my 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."
"A shining example of self-discipline, dedication and perseverance, Major General Romney personified the value of continuing education," said a release from Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards. "He was a true leader."
"In addition to an impressive career," said the release, his "dedication to the youth of the Virgin Islands was highly admirable and an inspiration."
Arrangements are by the James Memorial Funeral Home.

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