Phyllis Romine

1954 - 2012

Maggie Romine passed away on Oct. 12, 2012, at Portland Providence Medical Center. Maggie, her doctors and nurses had waged a fierce battle against a rare disease, primary pulmonary artery hypertension. Although her body was failing, Maggie’s keen mind, spirit and wit remained to the end. With the professional and loving help of the Providence CICU and Chaplain Services and the Oregon Clinic Pulmonologists, Maggie remained calm, in control and was able to orchestrate her own departure with family, friends and medical center staff sharing in this final chapter.

Maggie was born to Fred and Lucy Romine and grew up in Prescott. She was an outstanding student, avid reader and (reportedly) an ace pingpong champion. She graduated from Central Washington State College with bachelor’s degrees in literature, history and education. She also achieved a master’s in library science from Portland State University. Maggie taught high school literature and language arts in Clarkston; Unity, Ore.; La Center, Wash.; Chimacum, Wash., and, lastly, in South Bend, Wash. Along the way, “Ms. Romine” became an innovative, talented and passionate educator who challenged her students and colleagues to set goals and succeed. Maggie’s love of literature was contagious to even the most reluctant of students. During her career, she was the advisor to Knowledge Bowl, Honors Society, yearbook and newspaper, always urging her students to strive for excellence.

Maggie had many interests including reading, politics, music and movies (making her a formidable Trivial Pursuit contender). Family members were the recipients of handcrafted items that were crocheted, knitted or beaded. Maggie loved searching for stuff: agates, rocks, jewelry, teapots, Belleek, books, movies, junk and good stuff. She took a special interest in her five nieces and two nephews, counseling and cajoling them. She cherished holidays with family. She was a devoted friend to Sharon, Pat, Tony, Sue and Roxanne. “Ms. Romine” was loved by many students.

Maggie is survived by her mother, Lucy Romine; and four siblings, Betsy Romine, Penny Romine-Oliver, Jenny Romine (Mike Holman), Fred Romine (Jeri). She was preceded in death by her father, Freddie Romine; and close friend, Roxanne Heard.

The South Bend High School students and Providence’s CICU recently held memorial services for Maggie. A celebration of Maggie’s life is being planned for July in Walla Walla. Memorial contributions can be made to the Prescott Memorial Scholarship Fund (attention AJ Jacobson) or the South Bend Scholarship Fund (attention Pam Marte).

Maggie showed great courage. Words inspired her. This prose was found in her wallet: “Remember what is most important. It’s not having everything go right, it’s facing what goes wrong. It’s not being without fear, it’s having the determination to go on in spite of it. Remember that every day ends and brings a new tomorrow full of exciting new things. Love what you do, do the best you can, and always remember how much you are loved.” by Vickie M. Worsham.

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