Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 12:44 am | Fair 64º


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Family, Friends Grieve at Visitation for San Marcos Student Sergio Romero

A funeral Mass held Saturday morning at Holy Cross Catholic Church for the 15-year-old struck and killed by a truck

Under the gaze of saints etched in stained glass, friends and family wept over 15-year-old Sergio Romero’s open casket during a visitation Friday night at Holy Cross Catholic Church. The San Marcos High School sophomore was struck by a truck and killed while crossing Milpas Street last week on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside.

Hundreds of people moved in and out of the Cliff Drive church to say goodbye to Romero, who died after leaving band practice at Jasmine’s Alternative Music School, where he and friends were rehearsing for a performance at last weekend’s California Avocado Festival in Carpinteria.

Many of Romero’s classmates at San Marcos wore white to the visitation at the request of his mother, Lupita. Mayor Helene Schneider also stopped by to pay her respects.

Just a few feet from Romero’s white casket stood a picture familiar to those who knew him best as well as those who never did. It’s an image that’s been used repeatedly in media reports throughout the week — a smiling teen in a crisp, white T-shirt holding a black Gibson Epiphone, ready to play.

Baby photos of Romero and his mother and father were on display in the church’s lobby, along with notes from his family.

“My Sergio, you gave me the joy of being a dad,” one note read. “You have made me happy since you were born.”

A dozen San Marcos students sang an original song they wrote this week in the wake of Romero’s death.

Handwritten notes are part of a memorial for 15-year-old Sergio Romero outside JAMS on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara.
Handwritten notes are part of a memorial for 15-year-old Sergio Romero outside JAMS on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Josh Webb said he was supposed to play with Romero at the Avocado Festival the day after he died.

“I dedicated that show to him,” he said. “I feel like Sergio and I had our own little world. ... I’ll always love him.”

Harry Earle, a teacher and mentor to Romero, said there’s no telling how far the young man could have gone with his musical talent.

“I see now all the lives he’s touched,” said Earle, looking around the room.

A funeral Mass for Romero will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Cross. A graveside service and burial of his ashes is planned for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Santa Barbara Cemetery.

A memorial fund has also been established. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch to the Sergio Romero Memorial Fund, account No. 8175972200. Donations also may be dropped off at San Marcos High business office, 4750 Hollister Ave.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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