Mary Esther Smith Romine passed on April 25, 2021, at 96 years of age in the home of her son in Heath, Ohio.
Esther was born in Mentone on July 28, 1924, to Ruby and Merrill O. Smith. She never lived further than a mile from her birthplace until she moved to Ohio to stay with her son, Ken.
Esther began her work career at 13 at the local drugstore in town. She worked there through high school as a soda jerk, her specialty was making the chocolate syrup for sundaes and malts (especially extra thick ones for her future husband, Kenny). She’s told the story many times of how she had to go down in the basement to make the syrup on an oil burner and was fearful so she always stomped on every step each time she had to go make it (since she once saw a rat). She also told us about how she would stand at the front door of the drugstore when things quieted down on a Saturday night and notice Kenny across the street carrying out bags for folks from Clark’s grocery store – she thought he was cute. While they were in the same Mentone High School class, she did not date very shy Kenny until they were nearly seniors, graduating in 1942.
Esther married (without her parents knowing) Kenny Romine on Nov. 30, 1944, after his basic training and just before he “shipped out” with Patton’s 3rd Army to Europe. They were married for nearly 60 years. She was the beloved Mentone School secretary (and unofficial school nurse) for many years before retiring around 1988, after which she and Dad enjoyed traveling, their grandkids and just quietly living in Mentone.
Her grandkids and greats remember Grandma Esther for her cheesecake, rhubarb pies, picking blueberries and days at the lake cottage. Grandma Esther taught us to always ask how we can help, to give back scratches to the people we love and to be thankful in any situation.
Esther is survived by one son, Ken Romine and wife Sharon, Heath, Ohio; four grandchildren: Julie Stedman, Newark, Ohio; Benjamin Romine, Commerce Lake, Mich.; Grant Romine and Clark Romine, Carmel; six great-grandchildren: Peter, Isaac, Ruby and Anna Stedman; Cooper and Crosbee Romine.
Esther was preceded in death by her brother, Donald (1996); husband, Kenny Romine (2004); two sons: John Romine (2018) and Robert Romine (1998); and great-granddaughter, Henley Romine (2013).
Esther’s family has requested any donations in her memory to be sent to Samaritan’s Purse (PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607), the Mentone United Methodist Church (where she was a long time member), Spring Hills Baptist Church, Granville, Ohio (where she was also more recently a member), or other Christian charity of your choice.