By Ann Buskey
Nickolas (Nicola) Romano, age 79, born in Candida, Italy and a 50-year resident of Tewksbury and most recently Billerica, passed peacefully on October 6, 2021 after a brief illness with his loving family by his side.
Nick is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ann (Cotrone); his children, Nick and wife Ginny, Ann and husband Tom, Pia and husband Thom; and his “pride and joy” grandchildren, Jessica and her husband Brandon, Thomas, Nickolas, Nathanial, Lucas and Christine. He is also survived by his siblings Florence, Carmen, Irene, Connie and many Godchildren, nieces, nephews and many others who considered him family. He was predeceased by his parents Alfonso and Pellegrina (Petrosino) Romano.
Nicola came to the United States in 1955 with his sister, escorted by their father. He and his sister settled in the North End of Boston, and Nick went to work selling newspapers, shining shoes and sweeping floors at the original Pizzeria Regina. He briefly had a boxing career because it paid more than sweeping floors. He then went to work in construction to learn the trade that he continued until his death.
Trained on the job as a bricklayer, Nick started his own construction company in 1976 and was joined by his son, building a reputation in the construction industry.
While his family and friends were his greatest joy, he was a man who honored and lived by his values. He worked hard and truly lived the America dream. Coming to America gave his family the chance to make a better life. He loved his adopted country and was proud when he became an American citizen.
Nick was an active member of the Tewksbury/Wilmington Lodge of Elks and generously donated his time and resources to many organizations and charities, especially those serving children, the frail and elderly, including his work on the construction of the Tewksbury Food Pantry. He was known for his open-door policy on holidays (and every other day) as many non-family members were welcomed at the table. He also quietly delivered meals for those homebound or without families, making sure that he shared what he had. He was a father to many as he “adopted” those who needed some tough love and gentle guidance.
While many would describe him as rough around the edges, he was a gentle and kind man and was known as a fair and honest businessman who built his business by first building relationships with people. He gave many chances to those who needed someone to believe in them.
His favorite moments were shared with his wife, his children and grandchildren, and a favorite time for him was when they gathered for his backyard barbecues through the years.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte 62) Wilmington on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 9:00 a.m., immediately followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow in Fox Hill Cemetery, Billerica. Visiting hours will be held at the funeral home on Monday, October 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm.