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'Mr. Sundial,' Antonio Gonzalez Romero, Dead at 99

Nov. 26, 2007 — Antonio Gonzalez Romero, also known as "Mr. Sundial," died peacefully in his sleep Wednesday. He was 99.
Romero is best known as the proprietor of Sundial store, located on Company Street in Christiansted. Sundial opened in 1937 and was Christiansted's first general store. Romero was a fixture on the store's gallery for many decades.
Born July 8, 1908, in Vieques, Puerto Rico, Romero grew up on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico. He came to St. Croix in the 1930s and in 1936 married the former Sonya Magdalene Plaskett, who preceded him in death in 2002. They opened Sundial store, which is still in operation today, managed by Romero's grandson, who continues the family legacy.
Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis, who grew up in Christiansted, remembers "Mr. Sundial" as a "very humble person" and his store as the equivalent of a "modern day Kmart."
"Everything you could think of for the household was in the store," Francis said, recalling Mr. Sundial sitting on the gallery of his store with his signature "short pants and sandals."
Items carried at Sundial now have "sentimental" value, Francis said.
"Enamel tea cups, iron goose (the predecessor to the modern iron), five- and three-layer lunch pails, washboard and wash pans" were some of the items Sundial carried in its heyday, Francis said.
Romero is survived by his children: Rudy A. and Pierre A. Gonzalez, Joy Gonzalez Delgado, Penny Gonzalez Lewis and Kay Gonzalez Claude; son-in-laws: John F. Lewis and Maxime Claude; grandchildren: Patrick and Marie Therese Delgado, Mikael, Shawn and Karina Lewis and Sabrina Lewis Dominguez; Nicolas Claude, Vanessa Bass, Damaris Gay and Nathalie Finn; their spouses: Gina Delgado, Anthony Velasquez, Janissa Lewis, Damariz Lewis, Victor Dominguez, Maria Claude, Jeff Bass, George Gay and John Finn; great grandchildren: Dante Velazquez, Sonia Bermudez, Anthony, Aleksy, Angelo and Gabriel Lewis, Cesar and Ariana Dominguez, Nicky, Laura and Matt Claude, Lily Bass, Logan Gay and Caden, Jared, Mitchell and Alanna Finn; great-great grandchildren: Aliya, Ashley and Damian; caregivers: Debbie, Shirley, Shalen, Mrs. Peters and Sonia, who brightened his last days with care and laughter; Sarah and the rest of Continuum Care; the Gonzalez Romero families of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and many, many dear and caring friends. He was preceded in death by great grandchild Angel Bermudez Delgado.
The family will receive friends at the James Memorial Funeral Home from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday. The funeral service will take place Thursday at Holy Cross Catholic Church, with viewing at 10 a.m. and Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at the Cotton Grove family estate immediately following the Mass.

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Nov. 26, 2007 -- Antonio Gonzalez Romero, also known as "Mr. Sundial," died peacefully in his sleep Wednesday. He was 99.
Romero is best known as the proprietor of Sundial store, located on Company Street in Christiansted. Sundial opened in 1937 and was Christiansted's first general store. Romero was a fixture on the store's gallery for many decades.
Born July 8, 1908, in Vieques, Puerto Rico, Romero grew up on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico. He came to St. Croix in the 1930s and in 1936 married the former Sonya Magdalene Plaskett, who preceded him in death in 2002. They opened Sundial store, which is still in operation today, managed by Romero's grandson, who continues the family legacy.
Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis, who grew up in Christiansted, remembers "Mr. Sundial" as a "very humble person" and his store as the equivalent of a "modern day Kmart."
"Everything you could think of for the household was in the store," Francis said, recalling Mr. Sundial sitting on the gallery of his store with his signature "short pants and sandals."
Items carried at Sundial now have "sentimental" value, Francis said.
"Enamel tea cups, iron goose (the predecessor to the modern iron), five- and three-layer lunch pails, washboard and wash pans" were some of the items Sundial carried in its heyday, Francis said.
Romero is survived by his children: Rudy A. and Pierre A. Gonzalez, Joy Gonzalez Delgado, Penny Gonzalez Lewis and Kay Gonzalez Claude; son-in-laws: John F. Lewis and Maxime Claude; grandchildren: Patrick and Marie Therese Delgado, Mikael, Shawn and Karina Lewis and Sabrina Lewis Dominguez; Nicolas Claude, Vanessa Bass, Damaris Gay and Nathalie Finn; their spouses: Gina Delgado, Anthony Velasquez, Janissa Lewis, Damariz Lewis, Victor Dominguez, Maria Claude, Jeff Bass, George Gay and John Finn; great grandchildren: Dante Velazquez, Sonia Bermudez, Anthony, Aleksy, Angelo and Gabriel Lewis, Cesar and Ariana Dominguez, Nicky, Laura and Matt Claude, Lily Bass, Logan Gay and Caden, Jared, Mitchell and Alanna Finn; great-great grandchildren: Aliya, Ashley and Damian; caregivers: Debbie, Shirley, Shalen, Mrs. Peters and Sonia, who brightened his last days with care and laughter; Sarah and the rest of Continuum Care; the Gonzalez Romero families of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and many, many dear and caring friends. He was preceded in death by great grandchild Angel Bermudez Delgado.
The family will receive friends at the James Memorial Funeral Home from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday. The funeral service will take place Thursday at Holy Cross Catholic Church, with viewing at 10 a.m. and Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at the Cotton Grove family estate immediately following the Mass.