Obituaries » Lena Romano Wilbanks
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August 13, 1983 - October 7, 2023
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Lena (Romano) Wilbanks, of North Charleston, South Carolina, passed away Saturday, October 7th, at Vanderbelt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She was 40 years young.
Raised in Old Forge, Lena was born on August 13, 1983 to parents, Patricia (Best) and Dominick Romano, both of Charleston. A 2002 graduate of Old Forge High School, Lena then earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Temple University.
Lena had an unconditional love for children and she really embraced her role as a nanny to several families in South Carolina. She possessed a unique ability to love other people’s kids like her own.
An amazing musician, she was well known in the local music scene for her amazing vocals, most notably for her former band, “Dashboard Mary.” She loved singing, going to concerts, country music, traveling, all things 1980’s, everything and anything to do with music and on October 7th, Jon Bon Jovi just lost his #1 fan. She was an animal lover and was the best pet mom to her dog “Willow” and cat “Baby.”
Her love for family came above all else. She especially loved her nieces and nephews, who she often referred to as her own. She loved her step-children from the moment she met them and absolutely loved being a second mom to them. She adored her in laws and was so grateful to have them in her life.
Throughout everything Lena endured, she always remained positive, hopeful and brave – the legacy she leaves behind in the hands of her loved ones. Throughout it all, her husband and father had unwavering support and love, and her mom never once left her side.
Best summed up by a longtime friend, “She touched the lives of many people, as she helped other families navigate the complex and critical diagnosis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and other congenital heart defects. Lena always said her life was an experiment and as one of the oldest living people in the world with this heart defect, she was offering other patients immense hope and support as she fought hard for 40 years and lived her life to the fullest. She was so much fun, incredibly loving, resilient, spunky and funny. She had a powerhouse singing voice, an infectious laugh and so much more.”
Along with her parents, Patricia Best and fiance Raymond Sevin and Dominick Romano, Lena is also survived by her amazingly devoted husband, Josh Wilbanks; her sister and best friend, Natalie Verdetto and husband Louis of Charleston; step-daughters, Isabella (Bella) and Katherine (Kate) Wilbanks; and heartbroken nieces and nephews, especially Lila, Louis, Greta and Savino Verdetto; aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Alicia Romano.
A Celebration of Lena’s Life memories, music and blessing is scheduled for Sunday, November 12th at 3:00 PM at The Banks – a waterfront venue, 304 Kennedy Blvd., Pittston, with family and friend invited to pay their respects from 1:00 PM until services.
A continued celebration will also take place on November 19th in Charleston.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Lena’s name to the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia c/o 3925 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 1910.
Arrangements are under the care of the Thomas P. Kearney Funeral Home, Inc., 517 North Main Street, Old Forge.