Captain Paul D. Roman USN Ret passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home in Springfield, VA on 28 September 2015 after a 20 year battle with Parkinson’s.
Born 21 January 1927 of Aurelia and Paul Edward Roman of Manawa, WI. Paul is fondly remembered for his strong will, his fighting spirit, and “can do” attitude as he lived to “leave it better than he found it.”
Paul was a natural athlete at Little Wolf High School and graduated 1944. He attended his beloved University of Notre Dame for a year after enlisting in the Navy’s V-12 program. Paul graduated with Distinction on 3 June 1949 from the Naval Academy. As a student, Paul had little trouble with academics and spent his evenings helping classmates who were less adroit with the slide rule. As an athlete, Paul excelled as halfback for the Mighty Mites, the Naval Academy’s 150 lb football team that went undefeated for three years (1946-1948) winning the mythical National Championship. As a leader, Paul was well liked and well respected and ascended to Company Commander. He earned a Masters Degree in Operations Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1964. Paul started his career as a Naval Aviator getting his wings in 1951 and flying missions in the Korean War. He completed several aviation assignments with Patrol Squadrons 871, 19 and 1 before serving at sea on the USS Floyds Bay. Paul significantly affected Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) operations and effectiveness while Technical Director on the Staff of Commander ASW Force, US Pacific Fleet (COMASWFORPAC) at Pearl Harbor and while Chief of Staff to Commander Fleet Air Keflavik (COMFAIRKEF) before finishing his career at the Pentagon in 1977. He received two Legion of Merit awards for his exceptional work in the ASW domain. Following his successful 30 year Naval career Paul continued Operations Analysis work as Vice President for Summit Research in Gaithersburg, MD until his civilian retirement in May 1987. Paul so loved the outdoors, if there was a nice day you would find him in the yard. He enjoyed camping and was an avid fly-fisherman. After retiring he played senior softball around the U.S. including many World Series appearances. Paul could do it all: he hit masterfully, played shortstop, and ran the bases for almost everyone. He persevered through his Parkinson’s until a broken back ended his participation at age 81. He frustratingly followed the Cubs and faithfully cheered the Fighting Irish. Paul always enjoyed the challenge of the most difficult crossword puzzle.
Paul leaves behind his soul-mate of 63 years formerly Geraldine (Shonner) Laedtke of Oshkosh, WI, daughter Melissa Patterson of Lancaster, PA, sons Barclay of Clifton, VA and Shawn of Atlanta, GA, son-in-law Christopher Patterson and ever devoted daughter-in-law Gail Arnold Roman, and eight grandchildren, the Pattersons Timothy, Elizabeth, Maura, and Marian of Lancaster, PA and “the Roman boys” Barclay II of St. Petersburg, FL, Bradford of Baltimore, MD, Russell of Norfolk, VA, and Chance of Bagdad, AZ.
Family will receive friends at The Chapel at Green-springs, Springfield, VA 10 October at 9:30 a.m. for viewing and funeral services at 11:00 a.m. Burial services at Arlington National Cemetery will be scheduled at a later date. Flowers accepted or donations in Paul’s honor to Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (www.michaeljfox.org). For additional information visit www.fmfh.com.