‘SPEAKING from the heart, he was a gentleman. Everyone thought so,’ Castletownshend publican Fergus O’Mahony said on hearing of the passing of Dr Jules Rominger.
Dr Rominger was 96 when he passed away on December 6th but people remember a man who actively dedicated almost his whole life to medicine.
He was well known in West Cork because for about 30 years he and his wife of 73-years, Marty, owned and frequently visited their ‘Little White House’ at Toe Head.
Fergus recalls how the higly-regarded oncologist kept working until around the age of 92 when he got sick. He said it was a mark of the man that after he recovered, he wanted to go back to work.
He was, of course, told he couldn’t and that brought change. So, too, did their decision to sell their holiday cottage, about three years ago, but it didn’t stop them visiting.
Before Covid and lockdown, they still returned to the place they loved so well. On the last occasion, they set up camp at the West Cork Hotel and journeyed out to visit their many friends.
One of his very close friends in Skibbereen, Jerry Lucey, described Jules as ‘a most unassuming man.’
He said they met by chance almost 30 years ago and that his daughter Siobhan ended up minding the couple’s children in the US.
Jerry fondly recalled how she had ‘a wonderful time and was handsomely paid,’ and how he and his wife Noreen went on to take lots of international holidays with the couple over the years.
Dr Rominger was born and raised in Philadelphia and did his residency at what is now the Fox Chase Cancer Center.
He was renowned in his field of radiation oncology for over a 60-year period and was the author of many scientific papers.
Dr Rominger contributed to various books, articles, and journals and assumed a leadership role in numerous medical organisations.
He founded The Gwynedd Mercy College Radiation Therapy Program and established a scholarship for students enrolling in the allied health programmes.
However, it was his firm belief that in addition to addressing a patient’s medical condition, it was critical to address their emotional needs, that endeared him to his patients who valued his sincere and caring manner.
Dr Rominger was a veteran too, having served in the US Army as a medical doctor at Fort Lewis in Olympia, Washington.
But out of all his many interests in life, he professed the Little White House on Toe Head to be his favourite place in the world.