Today we celebrated the life of a truly wonderful individual. Someone who cared deeply about the people and the animals in his life. Someone who worked tirelessly to provide a level of customer service that will be tough to match. Someone who left us much too soon. Someone who will be deeply missed.
Roman Rillera was a bright beam of light. He greeted everyone enthusiastically with a big smile and mischievous twinkle in his eye. He loved to play practical jokes (I fell victim more than once…), gave most people he met a nickname (I was known as “Darren”, a Seinfeld reference from years ago), cherished his friends and deeply loved his dogs.
He was an avid runner and completed several marathons and many road races. He was passionate about the NY Yankees and loved the Godfather movies. Roman raised and showed champion Doberman Pinschers including “The Red Raven”, winner of the Best of Opposite Sex award at the 2005 Westminster Dog Show. He travelled extensively with family and friends throughout the United States, the Fiji Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. In recent years he loved to visit New York City and Honolulu, Hawaii. He was particularly drawn to the warm weather and spirit of Hawaii and planned to eventually retire there.
He was raised in Napa California, attended St. Johns Lutheran Elementary School and graduated from Justin Siena High School before earning his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Government Affairs at the University of Portland. He began his professional career in the insurance industry then changed direction to incorporate his love for animals. He especially enjoyed working for the Rose City Veterinary Hospital and as office manager for the Animal Behavior Clinic.
Roman’s passing was felt by a great number of people who loved and appreciated him. Many clients of the Animal Behavior Clinic had the opportunity to interact with him by phone and by email and routinely offered complements regarding his professionalism and his compassion for our patients. Even as we mourn his loss, we will remember the joy of his best moments with us. Rest in Peace Roman.