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Nov 18, 2009 9:40 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Brookhaven Town Councilman Keith Romaine dies unexpectedly

Nov 18, 2009 9:40 AM

Brookhaven Town Councilman Keith Romaine of Moriches died Saturday morning at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola from heart failure following complications from pneumonia.

He was 36.

According to family members, Mr. Romaine contracted what they thought was the flu earlier in the week. He was later diagnosed with two forms of pneumonia, both viral and bacterial. The virus then attacked his heart, and doctors were unable to relieve the condition. He died shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday after his heart failed.

He was admitted to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead on Thursday and was transferred to Winthrop on Friday, according to his family.

Mr. Romaine was elected to his second term on the Brookhaven Town Board on November 3. He was first elected to the board in November 2007.

Mr. Romaine’s campaign manager and friend, Dan Panico of Manorville, said Mr. Romaine had been feeling tired during the recent campaign, but refused to slow down.

“I was with him during the campaign,” Mr. Panico said. “We we’re driving around all night and he was run down, but he wouldn’t stop. He wanted to win the election.”

Mr. Panico said Mr. Romaine’s condition deteriorated quickly by the end of the week.

“He was walking around feeling a little sick,” he said. “He was doing his campaign fund-raising thank you letters on Thursday, and by Saturday at 11 a.m. he was gone.”

Tests for the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, were negative, a family spokesperson said on Sunday.

A wake will be held for Mr. Romaine at Sinnicksons Moriches Funeral home on Main Street in Center Moriches on Monday night, November 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Tuesday, November 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, November 18, at noon at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church on Ocean Avenue in Center Moriches. For more information, call the funeral home at 878-0065.

Family members were unavailable for comment. Mr. Romaine is the son of Suffolk County Legislator Edward P. Romaine.

Mr. Panico remembered his friend as not only a dedicated public servant, but as a positive influence on the people around him.

“Keith not only fought for what he believed in, he loved to laugh,” Mr. Panico said. “He had a good personality, and he was a gentleman. He was even a better person than people give him credit for.”

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Deepest sympathies to Ed and his family. What a terrible tragedy.
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Nov 14, 09 12:56 PM
Keith was one of the great guys.. God bless him and his family.

Anthony Grimaldi
By grimag (38), southampton on Nov 14, 09 2:12 PM
Terrible story!

Where are the flu shots?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 14, 09 2:20 PM
Deeply saddened to hear about the sudden passing of our friend and Town Councilman Keith Romaine. He had such a bright future ahead of him. Also former President of the Moriches Civic Association, he worked so hard to improve the community we live in. His passing has created a void that will be felt for many years to come. Keith, you will be missed but not forgotten.
By Rosalita (1), Brookhaven on Nov 14, 09 5:40 PM
Don't forget to wash your hands after being out in public !
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Nov 14, 09 7:29 PM
My deepest sympathy goes to Mr. Romaine's family at this time. Such a young man as he was is now gone and will be sorely missed by many.
By shocked48 (2), Flushing on Nov 14, 09 9:30 PM
What a sad story - may God bless him and his family. I didn't know the man but what sadness.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 14, 09 9:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
wow, this makes me want to go get the vaccine now...scary.
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Nov 15, 09 8:57 AM
after some quick research, it was not h1n1...

By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Nov 15, 09 9:03 AM
The statement from the Brookhaven official regarding the possibility of Mr. Romaine’s death being linked to the H1N1 virus was, in fact, erroneous, family members confirmed on Sunday.
By Bill Sutton (117), Westhampton Beach on Nov 15, 09 10:16 AM
Even though we were on opposite ends politically I have known and worked with Keith Romaine and his father Ed on projects that transcended politics and focused on the public good. We were always civil and respectful of each other and he was able to realize the good we could do by emphasizing the strengths we each brought to the table. This is a great shock and I am deeply saddened by the loss and wish I could in some way comfort his family in this troubling time.
By Hank Beck (8), Westhampton on Nov 15, 09 10:59 AM
What a tragedy. Heartfelt sympathy to Ed and family on their loss.
By baywoman (165), southampton on Nov 15, 09 11:44 AM
God bless Keith and his family - our prayers are with you
By americanivory (7), east hampton on Nov 15, 09 6:40 PM
Oh my goodness...this is so horrible. What a young guy! Cherish every moment.
By eastendlocal (28), southampton on Nov 16, 09 8:08 AM
Pneumonia is a serious thing. Do not take it lightly, folks. Thoughts with the family...
By Undertow (64), Southampton on Nov 16, 09 1:41 PM
shocked, 36?? so sad, thoughts go out to his family...
By beach lover (2), smithpoint on Nov 16, 09 2:23 PM