Antonio Ramon Romasanta
1932 - 2017
Romasanta, Antonio Ramon passed away suddenly at home on June 30, 2017 at the age of 84 and into the loving arms of our heavenly Father. Tony was born September 16, 1932 to Eladio Ramon and Carmela (Taurasi) Romasanta in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in New York, Tony was an entrepreneur from the start with his own shoeshine business, giving all his earnings to his mother. In 1944, at the age of 12, Tony moved with his family to Santa Barbara, where he attended Santa Barbara Jr. High and Santa Barbara High School. As a Santa Barbara Don, Tony joined the ROTC, continuing his membership through college.
He attended UC Santa Barbara, where he was a fraternity member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. While putting himself through college and working various jobs, it was at UCSB where he met the love of his life, Birgit Kristina Nyman, marrying in 1954. After graduating with a degree in Economics, Tony left Santa Barbara to serve his Country in the U.S. Army; he was honorably discharged as a 1st. Lt., continuing as an Army Reserve. After being discharged, Tony and Birgit moved to San Francisco where he attended UC Hastings College of the Law. During this time, he and Birgit worked hard to put Tony through law school, and their first son, Mark, was born. Graduating second in his law school class, Tony then returned to New York to attend NYU School of Law, earning his Masters in Tax Law, while simultaneously teaching classes in Legal Research & Writing. In February 1961, Tony was both admitted to the CA Bar and their first daughter, Kathryn, was born. Late that year, Tony returned to Santa Barbara with his family to begin his career as an attorney, and shortly after their second daughter, Lisa, was born, with twin boys, Anthony and David, soon to follow.
In the late 1960’s, Tony’s entrepreneurial passion led to he and his partners starting Islay Investments. He continued on to have a successful law career with Goux, Romasanta and Anderle, and was fortunate to work with so many wonderful partners and junior partners throughout the years. In the 1980’s, Tony and Birgit got into the Santa Barbara hospitality business, with the Harbor View Inn, Sandpiper Lodge and Eladio’s Restaurant.
Tony’s work was not work, it was who he was, working full time up until the day he passed. Despite spending his time working, he was a certified scuba diver, who enjoyed boating, traveling, and snow skiing with his family. An avid golfer, Tony was a long time member of La Cumbre Country Club, making many friends with other members and the wonderful staff. Proud of his Italian heritage, Tony was both a DB brother and Boot Club member. He truly loved Santa Barbara, working endlessly on projects to better the community, while active in the local political scene always keeping the best interest of Santa Barbara at heart.
All who knew Tony would agree that he had a wonderful sense of humor and an unforgettable smile. Tony enjoyed music and you often found him at home dancing around the kitchen listening to Frank Sinatra. A devoted reader, his drive for knowledge was unwavering, and he appreciated sharing his knowledge with those around him. Tony’s lifelong love for dogs led to countless adoptions, and he leaves behind several of his beloved doggies.
Tony was preceded in death by his parents Eladio and Carmela, his brother Joe Fortunato, his wife of 52 years Birgit Romasanta, and his grandson Mark Romasanta II. He is survived by his brother, Andrew Romasanta; son Mark Romasanta (Nicole), his daughters, Kathryn Romasanta-Eckert and Lisa Romasanta-Crowder (Robert), and sons, Anthony Romasanta and David Romasanta; his grandchildren Antonia Eckert Shaw (Nathan), Vinny Eckert, Angelina Romasanta, Robbie Crowder, Kristina Crowder, Joey Eckert, Anthony Romasanta, Nicholas Romasanta and Bella Romasanta; his great-grandchildren, Mikayla Eckert, Daniel Shaw and Dominic Shaw; and several nieces and nephews.
As Tony would often say, “Eat, drink and be merry!” His memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, July 14, 2017 at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara Street. Donations can be made to Santa Barbara DAWG 5480 Overpass Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93111.