Local News, Obituaries

Obituary: Bernard Rome, 89


Bernie Rome


Bernard Rome passed away on Saturday, March 9, in West Palm Beach, Florida, from heart failure. He was 89. Rome was survived by his much-loving family: his wife of 55 years, Timmie (née Blumstein), son Narric and daughter Mallory, daughter-in-law Megan, and four grandchildren he adored (Ziv, Will, Natan, and Hadley). 

Bernard Rome was born in Burlington, July 18, 1934, but his family moved to Clinton Ave. in Rutland when he was 2 years old. Rome attended Rutland High School (Class of 1952) where he later returned as a graduation speaker. He was a lifelong member of the Rutland Jewish Center, which is where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, launching the U.S. into World War II. Bernard’s father, Louis, was the oldest man drafted in the state of Vermont and served as a chaplain’s assistant in the war. Rome was predeceased by his father, Louis, his mother, Celia (Katz), and his brother, Newman.

The family opened a business in Rutland in the 1960s which later turned into the Ski Shack and moved in 1976 to the corner of Route 4 and the Killington Access Road, where it flourished for decades.

Rome earned a B.S. in business from the University of Vermont (Class of 1956). He spent his life as an entrepreneur, developing ideas with a creativity, passion, and commitment that led to some notable successes, including the Rome Report, Teletrade, and a technology that began the modern-day tracking of TV advertising, which he sold to Time Warner. He lived life seeing the opportunity for improvement, whether in grocery shopping or plastic wrap or stock trading. He loved to learn and build expertise in new fields.

Rome returned full time to Vermont in 1991, for what he called retirement. He expanded the Ski Shack, opened other businesses in the area, and worked hard to build a campus in Killington to help expand the housing, education and cultural options in the region. His strong beliefs about the state education finance legislation (Act 60) led him to run for governor in 1998. He had strong political views describing himself as a “Jimmy Jeffords Republican,” after Senator Jeffords (with whom Rome grew up with in Rutland) left the party to serve as an independent. Rome later served several terms on the Killington Town Select Board helping to guide Killington’s economic development. He loved starting his days over coffee at the Deli at Killington Corners and then working in his office above the Killington post office. He loved Vermont and cherished his family’s history there.

One comment on “Obituary: Bernard Rome, 89

  1. The most entrepreneurial member of Phi Sigma Delta at UVM. Sold all of his fraternity brothers his special de-icing liquid for their car windshields which “froze” upon application. Seem to recall he also was head of OTB in NYC. A great guy from years ago-he will be missed.

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