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Vince Roman, former KGO-TV news director, dies

One of the first news directors in Bay Area television, Vince Roman, died April 29 in Belmont at age 90.

Roman went to work for KGO-TV in 1951, became news director and remained with the ABC station for 37 years until he retired.

Roman and his partner Sam Rolph, co-founder of Hillbarn Theatre, bought a house on San Juan Boulevard in Belmont in 1956 and remained there until some time after Rolph died in 2006.

They also had homes at Lake Tahoe and on the north shore of Kauai. For the past five years, Roman has lived at Sunrise Assisted Living in Belmont.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Roman served as a B-24 radio operator in the 8th Air Force during World War II and flew 13 missions before the war ended. He was mustered out at March Air Force Base in Riverside.

He told friends that he liked the warm weather and decided to remain in California.
He parlayed his wartime experience in radio technology into a job in the new world of television. He started by delivering them; then he heard that KGO-TV was hiring and made the jump to TV news.

He rented a room on the Peninsula. When his landlady heard he was interested in community theater, she sent him to Hillbarn where he met Rolph.

Eventually, his mother and father, both Lithuanian immigrants, and his sister and her husband joined him on the Peninsula.

He outlived most of his Roman kin but is survived by Rolph’s nephew, Mike Venturino of Belmont, a good friend who managed his affairs.

Friends will gather to celebrate Roman’s life from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the Congregational Church of Belmont, 751 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Homeless Cat Network, P.O. Box 6, San Carlos 94070, or the Peninsula Humane Society, 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame 94010, are suggested.

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