We mourn the passing of our beloved Chapter President, Mrs. Lee Romanelli.

Lee Romanelli - RIP

It is with heavy hearts that the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums mourn the loss of our beloved President, Mrs. Lee Romanelli.  Under Lee’s steadfast leadership and with the help of the New York Chapter she oversaw the completion of many restoration projects at the Vatican Museums – The Trajan Columns, the Bernini Angels, and at present, Raphael’s Sala di Constantino, to name a few.  She also presided over the funding of an exhibition in 2017 on the “History of the Menorah” at the Vatican in conjunction with the Jewish Museum of Rome and a photographic exhibition at the Sheen Center in New York on “The Life of a Swiss Guard, A Private View”.  In recognition of Lee’s many years of dedicated service to the Patrons, she was recently presented by the Vatican with The Gian Lorenzo Bernini Award.  We were blessed to have such a devoted leader who gave her heart and soul for the betterment of our Chapter.  She will be deeply missed.

May her memory be eternal!


New York Chapter Board of Directors



ROMANELLI–Lee, of Darien, Connecticut formerly of Sands Point, New York, died on October 26, 2018. She was born in Newark, New Jersey on June 22, 1929. She married Anthony Romanelli, MD on June 19, 1954. He died February 24, 1989. Lee worked as a volunteer for more than 20 years at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations. She was the President of the New York Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums for many years and was honored as a Dame of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Lady Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and as a Dame of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus. Lee was awarded the Cross Pro Ecclesia Et. Pontifice from Pope Saint John Paul II and most recently was presented with The Gian Lorenzo Bernini award for her many years of service as President of the New York Patrons. While she dedicated her life to volunteering and working with cultural and charitable organizations, she was foremost a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Lee is survived by her sons, Dr. Vincent (Peggy) Romanelli of Dublin, Ohio, Dr. Michael (Lisa) Romanelli of Dublin, Ohio and her daughter, Gilda (Mark) Haranzo of Darien, Connecticut and seven grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Maisie DePalma. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her brother, Gerard Montanino, and her beloved grandson, Stephen A. Romanelli. A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 5th Avenue, New York, NY on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 10am. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Stephen A. Romanelli Memorial Fund at www.sarmemorialfund.com or the Inner City Scholarship Fund at www.innercityscholarshipfund.org

Published in The New York Times on Oct. 31, 2018

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