Obituary of James Michael Romba
James Michael “Jim” Romba, 64, of Howell, NJ passed away Thursday, January 6, 2022 at Ocean Medical Center in Brick. Born in Palisades Park, Jim spent his life working in the automotive repair industry. He got his start working after school for his father’s business, Moore Street Garage, in Hackensack. Jim then began working for various auto parts stores and dealerships, and spent the last 15+ years working for Auto Plus/Pep Boys as a Parts Courier.
When you first met Jim, he could come across as gruff, stern, and just plain grouchy. But, once you got to know the man, you realized what a gentle giant he really was and instantly fell in love with him. He was a hard-working, dedicated guy who loved his family more than anything. A 29-year survivor of oral cancer, he stayed active following his treatments and kept working six days a week to do everything possible to provide the best life he could for his wife and two sons. Whether it was his co-workers, neighbors, or his family at home, he was deeply loved by all who were blessed to know him.
Considered a world-class chef by his family, Jim’s home cooked meals will be greatly missed. From his spaghetti sauce, to his sausage and peppers, to his charcoal-smoked Thanksgiving turkey, he got a great deal of joy from playing in the kitchen, preparing meals for his loved ones. He also loved to bake, working with both his sons each Christmas to prepare seven different types of cookies. Jim also took pride in decorating every birthday cake for his wife and sons with a personalized design. He very much enjoyed gardening, growing everything from peppers and tomatoes to carrots and potatoes in a backyard garden that he built himself. Jim also had a deep passion for music. In addition to his years playing sousaphone in the Palisades Park Fire Department Band, Jim was a fan of everything from The Boston Pops to The Beatles. Jim also loved sports, and even played in a bowling league with some of his family and friends. As far as the pros, he was a big fan of Mets baseball, Islanders hockey, and he thoroughly enjoyed watching his Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl back in 2019.
The other sport that he loved most was NASCAR racing. In addition to watching each Sunday on television, he also enjoyed several wonderful years of traveling to races at Dover International Speedway and Watkins Glen International with his family.
In addition to his family, Jim’s faith was also incredibly important to him. A devout Roman Catholic, he regularly attended mass at the Church of St. Veronica in Howell, even making the two mile round trip on foot if he needed to and watching streamed services each Sunday during the pandemic. He regularly brought food donations for the local food bank and made sure to deliver gifts for the parish’s Giving Tree during the Christmas season. Again, this spoke to Jim’s loving, caring, and giving nature, even towards those whom he did not know.
Preceded in death by his father Lawrence, his mother Helen (Redman), and his father and mother-in-law William and Jean Stockdale, Jim is survived by his adoring wife of 35 wonderful years Carol (Stockdale), his two loving sons William and Matthew, his four siblings Lawrence (Kathy), Jeanne (Brian), Phil (Susan), and Ken (Candee), his sister-in-law Barbara, his five nephews Michael, Maxx, Jake, David (Katie), and Mark, and his six nieces Beth, Jennifer, Jillian, Morgan (Breogan), Tyler, and Lindsay.
On a personal note, Jim’s family would like to express their deepest gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the doctors, nurses, and staff in both 4 West and CCU at Ocean Medical Center for the extraordinary level of care that they provided for Jim.
A visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his 10:00 AM Funeral Mass on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at St. Veronica’s Church, 4217 Route 9 North, Howell. Interment will follow in St. Gabriel’s Cemetery, 549 County Road 520, Marlboro. For information, directions or to leave condolence messages for the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com