Agua Fria Village
Amarante Romero: October 6th, 1920 to August 31, 2013
You may have noticed the banner and wreath on the fence of the Agua Fria Community Water Association’s water tank.
Amarante Romero was often called the mayor of Agua Fria Village. It is not an official position that has ever existed but more a sign of reverence for a man who did so much public service for his community. Still many others called him “Mr. Water”, in reference to his knowledge of water issues starting from being an acequia particpante, to working for Crocker Well Drilling, to helping with the Agua Fria Community Water Association. Living by the year round running Santa Fe River in the pre-1945 era, he had a reverence for water. As people, mainly farmers from the Village, came into his Uncle’s General Store, and discussed their water woes, he was quick to learn how important water law was. In his volunteer work for Santa Fe County in the late 50’s to 70’s he built hydrological reports for large developers into the county Land Use Code. He served on the County’s Planning Commission and Metropolitan Water Board. He lost two races to be a County Commissioner and the last one used the slogan ‘Adelante Con Amarante.’ Mr. Water even had the deep respect of attorneys for the developers.
Amarante was a good family man and raised three daughters (Thelma, Arlene and Emma Mae) with his wife Emma who passed away last year. He was a role model to many boys in the Village and took many like my father-in-law Arthur Eugenio Montoya hunting.
He started his own general store next to his Uncle’s after his Uncle closed his and he and Emma returned from California after working in the Oakland shipyards as welders. We have a picture of him in the store in the 1950’s.
Although he did not start the Agua Fria Village Association, and never served as an officer in that organization, his advice was priceless. He counseled the “two girls” involved in starting the organization, Tamara Lichtenstein and Olivia Annon Tsosie. The four of us met at the Plants of the Southwest and were joined the following weekend by Mark Gonzales. He would call me on the phone and say: “Mee we have a meeting to go to.” He would ask me to take notes and to write out a letter because his penmanship was so bad. He was a remarkable man and thinker to work with on community projects. He called me Willy Snide from a character in Willy Wonka.
Arrangements: there will be a viewing on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Bernardinelli’s Mortuary and then on Friday a viewing at 10:30 a.m. and services at The Light at Mission Viejo on Richards Avenue at the Mission Bend.