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Fredrick P. "Fred" Rome

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fredrick rome

March 9, 1938 ~ October 3, 2021 (age 83)

Austintown – Fredrick P. “Fred” Rome, 83, of Youngstown, passed away on Sunday afternoon, October 3, 2021 at Austinwoods Rehab Center in Austintown 

Fred was born on March 9, 1938 in Youngstown, a son of Harry and Ann (Circella) Rome and grew up in Youngstown’s famous Brier Hill neighborhood. 

Fred was retired from WRTA where he worked as a maintenance supervisor. Before then, he was the owner and operator of Automotive Restyling and Vynal Weld Auto Upholstery. Locally, he was a reserve deputy under Jim Traficant and Ed Nemeth on the motorcycle unit and also a motor cycle squad constable for the Canfield Fair. He also worked for many years as head of security for the various Shaker Woods festivals.

In his youth, Fred learned to play the tenor saxophone well enough to play in several bands. He was very proud of this and the sax, Elvis Presley and 50’s music were among his passions.

He was known as “a legend in his time” and had the ability to fix anything. He was a self-taught, gifted carpenter, drywaller, plumber, electrician and had an unlimited imagination. 

His favorite place to be in the world was his beloved garage.  There he built and customized award-winning (both national and local) cars and bikes of all kinds. His first and most personal build was his T-bucket hot rod which he created in Youngstown in 1962. He envisioned wide wheels for the back of his street rod but, at the time, wide tires were not being made.  An example of his ingenuity, he welded an extension on both sides of the back axel that would accommodate a total of four tires. This engineering marvel made his the first street rod in the country to feature “wide wheels”.  He restored his 1967 Jaguar XKE and customized his 1986 El Camino which features a chopped roof (his friends all told him that a chopped roof on an El Camino wasn’t possible – Fred just chuckled and successfully chopped the roof).

These two vehicles feature not only his signature stunning paint work but custom upholstery he designed and installed. Fred also had the good fortune to tour with “Cars of the Stars,” which gave him the opportunity to work with legendary George Barris the most well-known car customizer / builder in Hollywood.  Barris trusted Fred to make physical and mechanical repairs to such legendary vehicles as the Batmobile, the Bat Cycle, The Munster’s Coach, The Monkee Mobile, Frank Sinatra’s Zebra Mustang and many others. His nephew, Eric, and niece, Janeen, recall being the most popular kids in their neighborhood when Fred showed up one day to take their friends for rides on the Bat Cycle! Lastly, another accomplishment of which he was very proud was a 60’s style school bus which he converted into a state-of-the-art camper.  In design and functionality Fred’s bus camper rivaled many factory-built motor homes.  It featured four bunk style beds, a fully functioning kitchen, a hot and cold shower, a gas-powered heating unit, a pull-out couch for extra sleeping and he replaced the original manual transmission with an automatic.  His family enjoyed many wonderful camping excursions in Fred’s unique creation!

Fred was a “one of a kind”, selfless, generous, family-oriented man and he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Fred leaves, to cherish his memory, his sister, Janice West, nephew and Godson, Eric McClellan, niece, Janeen (Rev. Mark) Williams and nephew, James McClellan; great nephews, Alex (Becca) McClellan, Justin McClellan, Andrew (Tatia) Williams and great niece, Janna (Brooks) St. Jean; life partner, Irene Smith; Irene’s children, Frank (Renee) Waldo, Cindy McBurney and Paul Waldo; Irene’s grandchildren, Frank and Nikolas Waldo, Haley Martin, Addison McBurney and Anna Waldo; his step daughter, Angie (Mike) Pastello and her children, Michael Pastello and John (Allison) McHenry and grandchildren, Bailey, Madison and John. Fred also leaves his cherished dogs, Patches and Mr. Mr.

Family and friends may visit and pay tribute to Fred on Thursday evening, October 7, 2021 from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home, 4221, Market Street, Boardman, Ohio.

Due to some extenuating circumstances with members of Fred’s family, FACE COVERINGS WILL BE MANDITORY for all visitors.

There will be a memorial service immediately following calling hours on Thursday at 7pm.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Fred’s honor to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 OR Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market Street, Youngstown, Ohio 44512.

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