Kathleen Ruth Romine, 77, of St. Louis, Mo., died surrounded by family and friends on Nov. 26, 2023. Her boisterous zest for life and wonderful laughter will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Kathleen was born June 26, 1946, in St. Louis, Mo., as the fourth daughter to Susanne and Charles Boese. She attended elementary and primary school at St. George, graduating from Notre Dame High School in 1964.
While in high school, Kathleen and longtime family friend Doug Romine started courting. She first approached Doug while he was re-roofing his parents’ house and convinced him to buy her a snow cone, and later threw it at him when he refused to go to prom with her. Doug eventually saw the error of his ways after reconnecting with her at the bowling alley where he worked, and at that point started wooing her in earnest. He proposed twice, first with a ring, and then with a house in the Mehlville suburb of St. Louis. That house became their one and only home after getting married on August 26, 1967, at St. George Church in Affton. In Doug’s later years, Kathleen was committed to taking care of him as severe dementia set in, sacrificing to ensure he was comfortable and at peace until the very end.
Kathleen was equally devoted to her son Jason, born March 1, 1978, after trying for many years to have children. She often referred to Jason as her greatest pride and joy and was fully dedicated to ensuring he thrived in all facets of life. From being a stay-at-home mom until he was in 4th grade to being a room mother at his school, Kathleen invested her time, talents, and energy into all that Jason did. She was his training mentor and field coach for the many sports he played, served as a committee member for his Boys Scouts of America troop 649, and ensured he was regularly exposed to fun and culture with what she called “Friday Fun Days” going to the zoo, museums, theater, restaurants, and more. It’s through Kathleen that Jason developed a lifelong passion for art and design, and the foundation of who he is today is because of her devotion to him.
In her professional life, Kathleen often said she started working for the sole purpose of buying shoes and looking good. Her first job was at the St. Louis Zoo and later Midwest Screw Products where she was the only female on staff in the manufacturing department. A consummate perfectionist, detailed in her work, she was promoted to the position of lead buyer at Midwest by the age of 22 where she said she got to order the men around, a task she delighted in doing. She left Midwest to be a stay-at-home mom, and later returned to work outside the home joining the retail department for National Garden Club Inc. She eventually became the executive assistant to her sister Fran and the two traveled the world on work trips for the National Garden Club. She later served as executive assistant for her niece Michelle until Kathleen’s retirement in 2017.
A lifelong crafter, Kathleen created and sold ceramics at craft shows for more than 20 years, eventually opening a business called PattyKate with her dear friend Pat Voellinger. Together they sold hand-crafted wreaths, holiday table displays, and other items.
Kathleen was also a dedicated volunteer for the Oakland House Museum of the Affton Historical Society. She loved taking part in their holiday events, especially in playing the role of Mrs. Claus at Christmas and serving as assistant to the Easter Bunny every spring.
Outside of work, crafting, and volunteering, Kathleen delighted in being with family and friends. She enjoyed holding season tickets to the Fox with her sisters and cousin, having monthly “Birthday Club” dinners with family, weekly lunches with her sisters, and annual visits to Seattle and Cardinals games with her son. Always wanting to be a grandma, but without a grandchild of her own, she doted on her many grand nieces and nephews, and saw her friend Pat’s granddaughter Amanda Parker as her own.
Kathleen is survived by her son Jason Romine and his partner Vanessa Casavant of Seattle, Wash.; sisters Jeanette Bumb, Frances (Chuck) Mantler, and Amelia (Gordon) Oppelt all of St. Louis, Mo.; 12 nieces and nephews; and her beloved dog Colt. She was preceded in death by her husband Doug, parents Susanna and Charles Boese, sisters Mary Ann Baebler and Margaret Boese, niece Kathy Sutton, and her other beloved dog Buddy.
A visitation period with the family is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, with a celebration of life service to follow at Kutis Funeral Home, 5255 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis, MO, 63129. The service will be live streamed which can be found by clicking the following link: Funeral Service Live Stream All are welcome to attend in person or online to celebrate Kathleen’s life.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Kathleen’s honor to the Oakland House Museum of the Afton Historical Society; 7801 Genesta Street, St. Louis, Mo., 63123 or online at oaklandhousemuseum.org/donate/.