THE town will not be the same without Frank “Boogie” Romero, who passed away Wednesday at age 88.

The parades won’t be the same. The ball games, the public ceremonies, The American Legion Dickey Springer Post 113. None of it will be the same.

The legend died at 11:30 a.m. on a windy, cold April day. He gave nothing but warmth during his lifetime, and it is sure to be packed whenever his funeral mass is held at Sacred Heart Church, the parish he found comfort and peace in throughout his days.

His son, Frank Jr., is devastated. You rarely saw one without the other, and even more so after Boogie’s wife, Dorothy, passed away three years back. Boogie’s daughter, Lydia, survives him as well. She has the smile of her dad, and he beamed at the mention of her name.

“He was such a kind-hearted man,” said Martha Valdez, manager at The American Legion. She last saw him last Friday night for his usual VO and Seven order. “This man never complained,” she said. “I’d say ‘How you doing, Pops?’ ‘Just one day at a time,’ he’d say.”

Boogie Romero's house with flag out front, left, and Boogie Romero at the 2021 Veteran's Day parade in Alamosa

If you lived on the southside of Alamosa, you knew exactly where Boogie Romero lived. His was the house on 10th and State with the flag flying out front.

People like to call themselves patriots.

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Boogie Romero, who served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, was a true patriot, always honoring the U.S. flag, carrying it in more parades than anybody in Alamosa ever has, always leading the crowds through the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner.

He’d teach kids the “Boogie Shake,” a handshake he would greet people with, oftentimes with a cigar in mouth. He loved cigars, until he couldn’t any longer.

At Adams State, he was the man. A longtime facilities department employee, he bled Adams State green and knew more coaches and student-athletes and school presidents than anybody ever did.

The legendary Adams State track and field coach Joe I. Vigil was among Boogie’s best friends. He rubbed shoulders with governors and senators because everybody knew and loved Boogie.

Communities need people, characters, like Boogie Romero. They’re the people that give a place soul and grace.

Alamosa will not be the same without Boogie Romero. It can’t be. A legend has passed on.