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Who Was Doc Romeo?

Donald J. "Doc" Romeo M.D., was born in Brockway, Pa., to Stephen and Annie (Presto) Romeo, Dec. 6, 1923. He attended Brockway High School. He then went to Boston College and then on to Loyola Medical School of Chicago. He also served as a private in the U.S. Army in Germany during World War II. He married Barbara Byrnes, Dec. 27, 1951, in Cheyenne, Wyo.

He began practicing medicine in Denver, then moved to a small town called Hugo, Colo., where he established his first practice, and was also the local coroner. From there, he moved to Lake Arrowhead, Calif., and practiced for a few years, and then to La Jolla, Calif. While attending a medical convention in Las Vegas, he met a longtime Las Vegas physician, and was offered a full partnership. He soon moved his wife, eight children (at that time) and the dog to "Sin City." (Both sets of grandparents were appalled!) The year was 1960. Three more children came along, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Between running a thriving medical practice and being the local Union Pacific Railroad doctor, "Doc" was also the jail physician. Many longtime locals know he delivered most of the "baby-boomers'" children.

While doing all these things, he also managed to donate a "little" of his time to the young people of the Las Vegas Valley. He was the team physician to Bishop Gorman High School's athletic teams for 30 years. He did junior high school physicals for all the male and female students for 25 years at 50 cents per child (until someone told him he should be charging more, so he upped it to $1.00 ... which he promptly donated back to the schools!). He coached Pop Warner football for 13 years. He was a commissioner in Central Little League Baseball for three years and coached there for a total of 13 years. He also coached CYO basketball for St. Anne's grade school for seven years.

"Doc" Romeo was instrumental in establishing the Ringside Physician's Association here in the State of Nevada. He watched boxing in Las Vegas go from local boxers upstairs at the Silver Slipper to it being the premier place to hold title fights. He was the attending ringside physician at over 10,000 fights during this career. He participated at all levels: amateur, Golden Gloves, professional and international. Marvin Hagler, "Sugar Ray" Robinson and Gene Fulmner are a few of his favorite fighters from over the years. In 1984, he was asked to be the United States Olympic Boxing Team doctor at the Los Angeles games. This is something he was very proud of. He is still a Lifetime/Gold Card member of the State of Nevada Athletic Commission.

Dr. Romeo was the "house physician" at the Desert Inn, the Tropicana, the Sahara and the Hilton International. Along with attending to the tourists, part of his duties were to administer to some of Las Vegas' legends. Those included Elvis, Red Skelton, Ed Ames, Jack Benny, Ann Margret and Debbie Reynolds.

He was invited to serve on the Board of Directors for the California State Automobile Association (AAA), a position he held for 22 years. He figured they invited him to serve because he was the State of Nevada's best customer -- a lot of kids, a lot of cars! He has also served on the Board of Directors for the City of Las Vegas Parks and Recreation Committee since 1977. With this position he helps make decisions on how money is spent for the youth of Las Vegas and the community in general's leisure activities. In 2001, Dr. Donald J. Romeo was inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.

In April 2002, in honor of his years of dedication and service to the community, a large new park was named after and dedicated to him at Cheyenne and Buffalo Drive - today known as Doc Romeo.

Donald “Doc” Romeo was a fantastic man who gave back to his community time and time again. That he was involved in youth sports almost seems too perfect.  Doc Romeo passed away on February 15, 2009.  This year marks the 10th anniversary since the Las Vegas community lost this great man.  That Western Little League practices and plays at a park named after him is an honor indeed.

Bio from www.legacy,com
Format and small additions for timeliness via Western Little League Board

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