Ferdinand Rocco "Nundi" Romano

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    - Maureen Clavet
Service Information
Poitras, Neal & York Funeral Home & Cremation Service
71 Maple St
Cornish, ME
04020
(207)-625-3221
Celebration of Life
Wednesday, Jun. 5, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Poitras, Neal and York Funeral Home
71 Maple St
Cornish, ME
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Obituary

SCARBOROUGH - Ferdinand Rocco "Nundi" Romano passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at The Maine Veterans' Home in Scarborough. He was born in Portland in 1924 to Italian immigrants, Elizabeth Casavola and Frank Rocco Romano.

Nundi was predeceased by his wife, Anne, in 2015, after 64 years of marriage. He is survived by his sister, Ramona Romano Madler of Enfield, Conn.; his son, Peter Romano and his wife, Katherine, of Scarborough; daughter, Joanne Romano of Gorham; grandchildren, Gina and Ronda; five great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Nundi grew up in Portland and graduated in 1942 from Portland High School, where he became a legendary Telegram League three sport athlete. He was a starting guard and was named first team All Conference, All Tournament, and All New England for the PHS 1941-1942 state champion and New England semifinalist basketball team. He was All Telegram League at third base his junior and senior years, and won the 1941 Telegram League batting championship with a .456 average. In football he was the 1941 All Conference and All State halfback for the PHS state championship team, and was All State team captain. That year, Portland defeated Deering 7-0 in the annual Thanksgiving Day game. Nundi scored the touchdown and kicked the extra point. At the age of 18, he won the Portland city boxing championship in his weight class. He also played semi pro baseball the summer following his senior year.

After graduating in 1942, he went to the University of Maine at Orono, where he was a starter on the freshman football and basketball teams. However, in February of 1943, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corp where he served as a radar operator in the Pacific until World War II ended. During that time, he was also a martial arts instructor.

Once back at UMO, the first time he saw Anne Bailey Woods of Ellsworth, he immediately fell in love. They were married in 1950, the year he graduated. While at Orono, he was the starting second baseman for the first UMO team to win a Conference championship in any sport. Nundi was also the athletic trainer. He received a bachelor's degree in physical education and later earned his master's degree in education.

Nundi and Anne moved to the Guilford area after he became the Phys. Ed. teacher and Varsity basketball and baseball coach at Piscataquis Community High School. Later, he became the principal. He also taught Driver's Ed. In 1967, the family moved to Kezar Falls where he became the inaugural Principal of Sacopee Valley High School in South Hiram. Nundi retired in 1977, and in 2018, Sacopee honored him by establishing the annual "Nundi Romano Student Athletic Achievement Award".

Nundi was a low handicap golfer and in 1972 became the head golf pro at Province Lake Country Club, and at the same time started his golf club building and repairing business. After nine years at Province Lake, he went to Gorham Country Club before becoming the head pro at Prouts Neck Country Club, from where he retired after 10 years. Along the way, he became certified as a Class A Professional Golfers Association of America pro. He was also president of the Maine Chapter of the New England Professional Golf Association for two years.

As a golf pro, Nundi's inherent artistic ability, his love of teaching, and his leadership abilities continued to flourish. Frustrated by the long time it took manufacturers to return repaired clubs, he taught himself the club repair and build skills by trial and error and became renowned for the high quality woods he built and refinished. He constructed his own shop above the barn in Kezar Falls and developed his unique refinishing process, which became documented in print and on TV. He performed club work for up to 50 clients throughout New England and was offered a generous opportunity to set up shop in Houston, which he politely declined. His "Custom by Nundi" clubs have travelled worldwide.

Nundi restructured the high school golf championships by taking it over from the Maine State Golf Association and expanding it to the broad and all-inclusive High School sport it is today. Most importantly, he loved to teach, especially kids through the Junior programs he developed. And he loved to compete, playing as many Pro-Ams as he could and getting two holes in one along the way. In 2009 he was inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame, and in 2014 to the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors.

He was also an extraordinary artist and craftsman. He loved fly fishing, and in addition to building his own cedar canoe and fly rods, he tied his own flies. Eventually, word got around about their high quality and noted fisherman from around New England came to Kezar Falls to buy his flies. A brief interest in archery led to him building his own bows and arrows. When it came to his arts and hobbies, he was always self-taught and built everything from scratch, attending to the minutest of details with amazing patience and precision.

In addition to water color paintings (one of which won an award at an art show in a frame he built), Nundi constructed a large model train complex, several scale model clipper ships-one of which is preserved in mint condition-and an enormous collection of scale model aircraft, particularly fighter planes. As one of the early members of the Southern Maine Scale Modelers Club, he won over a hundred awards in competitions through Maine and New England. The family extends their sincere thanks to the club for their efforts in ensuring the preservation of his works.

Nundi had numerous other interests and activities, such as Kiwanis, Masons, carpentry, reading, history, travel, dancing with Anne, collecting monogrammed golf balls-to name just a few. He also got his family involved in numerous activities including golf, alpine & cross country skiing, fishing, and camping. Camping was a big part of several summers, and in 1964 he packed up the Plymouth station wagon took his young family on a cross country camping adventure to see relatives in Los Angeles.

The essence of Nundi was exemplified by his genuine kindness, friendly nature, love of teaching, and love of people. He was a deeply devoted husband and father, loved his extended family, and cherished every one of the many great friends he made, as well as his colleagues and students. The family would like to sincerely thank everyone at the Scarborough Maine Veterans' Home, not only for their extraordinary care, but also for their love and kindness.

A celebration of his life will be on Wednesday, June 5, from 4-6 p.m., at the Poitras, Neal and York Funeral Home, 71 Maple St., Cornish. Online condolences may be sent to: www.mainefuneral.com

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the:

, Maine Chapter

383 US RT 1, Suite 2C

Scarborough, ME 04074.

Please include the

following in the memo:

Research in

memory of Nundi.

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 21, 2019
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