Our beloved Albert, 89, passed away on June 5, 2020 of natural causes. Albert was born on August 4, 1930 in Alamogordo, NM to Soledad and Pedro Romero. Albert is preceded in death by his mother and father, sister Mary, brothers Pete and Tony, and nephew Mark Anthony Romero.
Albert excelled as a young athlete capturing the attention of coaches and fans in 1947. In his school days of 1947-1948, 1948-1949 and 1949-1950, his accomplishments earned him honors as a “Three Letter Man” in football, basketball and track for Alamogordo High School. He was selected and played for the famous Alabama Crimson Tide Head Coach Paul (Bear) Bryant who coached the South team in the 1949 New Mexico North-South Football match-up. Albert was chosen to represent Alamogordo High at Boy’s State and proudly accepted the honor and responsibility as a young man. Albert graduated from Alamogordo High School in 1950 and went on to attend college at New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell where he played football. While at NMMI he received All Conference honors in his sophomore, junior and senior collegiate seasons, in addition to a spot on the little All-American squad his senior year. He received pro offers from the Baltimore Colts, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. Albert was drafted by the Colts in the 15th round of the 1954 draft and went on to play a seven-game exhibition season until he was called to serve his country. Albert was drafted into the US Army and reported to Fort Bliss in El Paso for boot camp. PFC Romero served 18 months in the Armed Forces during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1956 having fulfilled his tour of duty. To the very end, Albert was proud of his service in the US Army and participated in parades with fellow veterans as long as he was able. In August 2019 to celebrate Albert’s 89th birthday his children honored him and his service and sacrifice to our country by presenting him with a Quilt of Valor.
When Albert returned to New Mexico, he was again courted by NMMI, but this time as an assistant coach for Head Coach Nick Pageant and the Bronco football team. In 1958, Coach Pageant and Albert led the Broncos in capturing the NJCAA Football Championship. It was while he was in Roswell that he met and married Patricia Bagwell. Albert and family left Roswell in 1960 so that he could continue his course work for an academic degree in Santa Fe. Albert went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Saint Michael’s College (College of Santa Fe) in May 1961. While he was working on his degree, he was assistant football coach for Coach Dick Shelley at St. Michael’s High School and then assistant basketball coach for Coach Moon Mullin at St. Michael’s College. Albert and family left Santa Fe in 1962 so he could obtain his Master’s degree in Education from Adams State College. Following his graduation from Adams State, he returned to Santa Fe in 1963 to work as a football coach at Santa Fe High with Austin Basham, Max Norwood, and Ed Knight.
Though coaching was in his blood, Albert put his diploma to work and in 1965, Albert began his career as an elementary teacher and basketball coach serving throughout the Santa Fe Public School District, until retiring in May 1995. It was not unusual for Albert to be regularly greeted by former students who referred to him as “Big Al” or “Bulldog” while he was at the grocery store, mall or walking around the Santa Fe Plaza.
Albert also worked for the Downs at Santa Fe as a paramedic during summer teaching breaks and shuttle bus driver between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Albert was active in local, state and national politics. Albert was appointed by Governor Bruce King to serve on the NMMI Board of Regents and ran unsuccessfully for Magistrate Judge. In 2010, Albert was inducted into the New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Hall of Fame and received the prestigious Crossed Sabers honor.
Albert is survived by lifelong friend and mother of their six children Patricia, Children Cinda (Rod), John (Didi), Angela (Martin), Philip (Marlene), Stephen, Andy (Tami); grandchildren Heather (Torrey), Audrey (Giani), Hillary, Alyssa, Drew, Halle, Joel, Stephen Nico, Rio, Ava, Camille and Katherine, great-grandchildren Addison and Jace, niece Jackie, great-niece April and great-nephew Anthony.
A Come-and-Go Visitation will be held at Berardinelli Mortuary on June 15, 2020 at 4:30pm to 7pm.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi at 9am on June 16, 2020. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, all mass attendees are asked to arrive 30 minutes early.
Private family military burial will follow at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers are John Romero, Philip Romero, Stephen Romero, Andrew Romero, Drew Romero, Stephen Romero Jr.
Honorary pallbearers are Rod Owens, Martin Evans, Dan Darras, Joel Fernandez, Rio Romero.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to NMMI in memory of Albert S. Romero online at https://www.nmmi.edu/development-advancement/ or mail to NMMI Advancement & Development, 101 West College Boulevard, Roswell, NM 88201-5173.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Albert Sanchez Romero, please visit our floral store.
New Mexico Military Institute -NMMI
101 W College Blvd, Roswell NM 88201
NMMI Advancement & Development