• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


It was May 2009, three years after his father Clyde’s passing, and Miles Romney, 32, a great-great-grandson of George Romney — brother of the original Miles Romney, who brought the family name to America — was playing a familiar role as Petco Park’s life of the party.

“Wearing a Padres cap and a Padres jersey with the number ‘1040’ on his back, Romney is a favorite to friends and other Padres fans who cheer his antics,” said a news release from the University of San Diego, a Catholic school known for its ties to the local business establishment.

“On this night — and each time he attends a Padres game — Romney was ‘transformed’ into his alter ego, the Dancin’ CPA. He was out of his seat and dancing around to celebrate key moments in the game — such as Scott Hairston’s three-run home run to give the Padres a 6–5 lead in the fifth inning.

“‘I love it,’ exclaimed Romney, who has been a Padres fan since 1987.”

Miles, the release went on to say, “is a 2005 graduate of the master’s program in accounting. At USD, Romney teaches Accounting 202: Principles of Managerial Accounting. Married to Amy Romney, a 2003 USD graduate, Miles is active in USD’s Accounting Society, which made up 50 of USD’s contingent at Monday’s game.”

A 2001 graduate of Brigham Young University, Romney worked for Deloitte & Touche before continuing his schooling in San Diego and becoming a professor. But even with graduate-level financial training, like many Americans, he was caught short by the country’s hard economic times. In March 2011, Wells Fargo Bank filed a Notice of Default regarding the mortgage on a house he owned in San Marcos; the notice said that $15,461.91 was overdue. The debt went unpaid, and a Notice of Trustees Sale was recorded June 28. The next day, records show, the house was sold and the mortgage paid off.

“That was about the home losing about 40 percent of its value and me deciding to go back to school,” Romney said last week during a telephone interview.

Last year, he taught his final class at USD and moved to Lansing, Michigan, the state the late George Romney, Mitt’s father, once governed, to pursue a PhD in accounting at Michigan State. That May, he was invited by the USD faculty to give the school’s annual “last lecture,” an honor bestowed on departing faculty members deemed especially worthy.

The student newspaper reported: “Romney began by satirically describing who he was and what his history at USD had been. Romney then continued to break down his lecture into three main themes, including the quest for excellence, ‘you can’t take it with you,’ and ‘life is short.’

“The lecture took a more serious turn when Romney shared the story of the three major losses he had experienced through the deaths of his father, his son Matthew at two weeks old, and his mother-in-law.

“‘You never know how much time we are going to have,’ Romney said. ‘Why waste it doing stupid stuff?’”

Melbourne, Jr.

Being a Romney in Salt Lake City has long meant money, influence, and freedom to venture far beyond the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Brother Orson Douglas Romney was blessed with all three. One of 35 children fathered by Bishop George Romney (brother of the original Miles A. Romney), Orson, according to an early biographical sketch, had “holdings in the Co-operative Furniture Company, in which he is a director; the Oregon Lumber Company; and in the Amalgamated Sugar Company, in which he is a heavy stockholder.”

In the 1920s and ’30s, Orson and his wife, Emma Phillips Romney, became year-round regulars at the Hotel del Coronado. No less an authority on San Diego history than Burl Stiff, the late society columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, wrote in April 2006 that the Romneys “maintained a two-bedroom suite at the hotel, traveling between Utah and California by train.”

Orson died at 81 in 1941 in Salt Lake City, but his family often returned to Coronado.

“Their youngest son, Melbourne Romney, and his wife, LaRue Peterson Romney, spent their wedding anniversaries there, sunning on the beach and dancing in the hotel’s ballroom,” wrote Stiff.

“After World War II,” he continued, “Melbourne Romney Jr. brought his bride, Janice McCune Romney, to the Hotel Del for their honeymoon. (The Romneys had given up their suite during the war, so Melbourne and his wife had a room ‘above the kitchen.’ The suite was off the hotel’s courtyard, in the northwest corner.)”

The occasion for Stiff’s take was a small wedding reception held at the Del’s beachfront restaurant for Orson’s great-great-granddaughter, Ashley Ann Romney Farr and her husband, Jesse Farnsworth Woodcox.

“Ashley Ann’s grandmother and grandfather, Janice and Melbourne Romney Jr., were there — they have retired to The Shores in Coronado — and so were her mother and father, Paula and Hal Johnson Farr, and her brother, Taylor Romney Farr. They live in Salt Lake City.”

“‘We were here for our honeymoon,’ Jan Romney recalled. ‘We took the ferry and came over. He had given me a little black Studebaker as a wedding gift. We only spent two nights here — it was too expensive!’

“Her husband added: ‘I paid cash for the Studebaker. It was brand-new, and it cost $1700.’”

According to its company website, the Romney Lumber Company today owns strip malls in Phoenix, Salt Lake, and Lancaster, and a Burger King and billboards in Orange, California, among other investments.

Mitt’s Kids

Three of Mitt Romney’s five sons are well familiar with San Diego County and its real estate. In September 2007, the North County Times caught up with Matt, then 35, as his father was making his first bid for the presidency: “All of us are canvassing the country,’ he said outside a Mira Mesa office where volunteers made fundraising phone calls. He mentioned that his brothers were campaigning in Alaska and Florida. ‘We really try to get around and represent my dad as best we can.’...

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader


MillyStrodtman Oct. 24, 2012 @ 11 p.m.

Bob Filner is our only choice for Mayor of San Diego in 2012. When you live in the Largest Military Town in America, you need experienced leadership. Many in the Military Community do not think Carl DeMaio could do a good enough job running a City like ours San Diego, CA. This City has had ineffective leadership for so many years leaving our City in shambles. Bob Filner has the knowledge and the proven ability to restore San Diego to its former glory. DeMaio has no way to handle this much responsibility at this point in his career. DeMaio says he will stand up to the downtown interest and this is simply not true. DeMaio talks about closing some of our Military Bases which would leave our Nation more vulnerable in the future. Bob Filner will take care of Americas Veteran’s and ensure our Nations Security for many years to come. Bob Filner is our only choice for Mayor of San Diego, 2012.


SurfPuppy619 Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:20 a.m.

Stop spamming the place with your copy and paste propaganda.


SurfPuppy619 Oct. 27, 2012 @ 3:43 p.m.

Ouchie-Filner may not recover...I cannot recall what happened with that, but will bet $10K Filkner was never charged.


Javajoe25 Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:20 p.m.

Yea, Milly, this is not the way to convince folks to vote for Bob Filner. This is where we get to talk about those crackpot Mormons.

Very wealthy crackpots, but total looney-tunes just the same. The one thing I do like about the Mormon religion is that it got rolling as the result of a conversation Joe Smith had with an angel named Moroni. Check it out-- an Italian angel! Who would have guessed? Anything that gets the Italians top billing is cool with me. And now I understand what the deal was with those plates that Smith and Moroni passed back and forth: Pizza! Had to be.

The other thing I like about Mormons is that they build temples that look like Disneyland. I cannot understand how people who have such incredible architectural ideas, can be so delusional about everything else.

And then there's the polygamy thing. Oh yea. I hear you, brothers. The more the merrier...as long as the girls buy it, I'm down. That never would have flown with the ladies I've known, but hey-- you know what they say: What Moroni wants...


Burwell Oct. 25, 2012 @ 10:58 p.m.

Carl DeMaio is a corn fed carpetbagger from Dubuque Iowa who came to San Diego to strip the city bare.


Javajoe25 Oct. 26, 2012 @ 12:30 p.m.

I could not agree more. I just hope a majority of SD citizens see that. DeMaio would be a disaster for SD. He's worse than a Mormon!


monaghan Oct. 26, 2012 @ 2:37 p.m.

I loved this story. Lotta research. Calm tone and well-written. Illustrates the foundational "core values" of these made-in-America Mormon folks: polygamy, $ucce$$ in material matter$ and homophobia.

And since Milly has forced the issue onto every page of Matt Potter's handiwork, let's all get behind Bob Filner for Mayor.


Dorian Hargrove Oct. 28, 2012 @ 11:09 a.m.

Mindy, where was "Brother Clyde's" character ever questioned? I'm sure he was a nice man, a great big teddy bear as you say. But this story wasn't about Clyde and his great big heart, but about the Romney's presence in San Diego County. And, if using Clyde's own words makes him look bad, well that was Clyde's fault.


Dorian Hargrove Oct. 31, 2012 @ 9:23 a.m.

No, you didn't call Clyde a "snake-oil salesman" and neither did the author. And I never called you a hick.


monaghan Oct. 27, 2012 @ 11:02 a.m.

Gosh, Mindy, I thought the author was remarkably detached and even-handed in describing the history of Romneys out here in SoCal. What was "inaccurate?"

The commenters are another story, of course, as they seem to carry some strong bias about Mormonism, but maybe you, as an insider, can correct any alleged errors that made it into print.


Javajoe25 Oct. 27, 2012 @ 9:08 p.m.

Mindy, is sounds to me like you are going through a lot of pain over this so I'm not going to get into it too much with you here.

I'm happy for you if you have fond memories of the Romneys and how they brought Christmas trees and presents to your door when you were in need. But you should keep in mind that Mitt Romney became a very wealthy man by shutting down American companies and having the work done overseas, and the thousands of people who lost their jobs as a result did not have anyone show up at their door with Christmas trees or presents. That's the thing with the Mormons; if they think you are worth it, they will help you out. Otherwise, as far as they are concerned, you can go to hell.

If you're a believer, you better pray Romney does not get elected President or we will all see just how little he really cares about this country and the people who live in it.


SurfPuppy619 Oct. 28, 2012 @ 12:59 a.m.

But you should keep in mind that Mitt Romney became a very wealthy man by shutting down American companies and having the work done overseas, and the thousands of people who lost their jobs as a result did not have anyone show up at their door with Christmas trees or presents.

I have the same problem with Romney-he sent jobs overseas, now wants to be president-that's why I would not vote for him.

Obama is no better and has been a full on flop. I did not vote for him either-I did a write in protest vote for Hillary Clinton. Could not vote for either main party candidates with a clear and clean conscience.


SurfPuppy619 Oct. 28, 2012 @ 1:03 a.m.

If you're a believer, you better pray Romney does not get elected President or we will all see just how little he really cares about this country and the people who live in it.

Obama hasn't done jack to help anyone except gov employees. His work at getting the economic engine running again has been a complete and total failure, and he has broken all promises that he made to get elected. He has taken more Wall Street money than any previous president and not prosecuted a SINGLE Wall Street scammer.

Total failure IMO. Healthcare was a great goal, but at the wrong time.


SurfPuppy619 Oct. 28, 2012 @ 12:56 a.m.

You can imagine how well I fit in there.

Hahahahah...Yeah, I have the same problem, I won't let anyone roll me!


monaghan Oct. 28, 2012 @ 1:23 p.m.

Wow. I'm voting for Obama. And I'm praying for every woman who doesn't have the brain and heart to do the same. And for every student whose school loans will suddenly become unavailable. And for every senior whose Social Security will disappear and whose Medicare will become a voucher plan. And for every mother of a soldier whose child will become more cannon fodder in foreign wars. And for every worker who got a new job after the auto industry was saved from ruin. Obama drew a terrible hand when he got elected in 2008. His record has been solid. I want him back in office to finish the tough job ahead.


SurfPuppy619 Oct. 28, 2012 @ 8:16 p.m.

His record has been solid. I want him back in office to finish the tough job ahead.

His "record" has been a disaster. He has only ran the credit card sky high.

Is Romney any better- I doubt it-but two wrongs never make a right. Stop spinning.


monaghan Oct. 28, 2012 @ 7:49 p.m.

Wow again. I think I'll pass, Mindy: we never hit women. Don't be misled by rich positive-thinking liars: Obama for President. Filner for Mayor.


Andy Cohen Nov. 2, 2012 @ 11:28 p.m.

I appreciate the way of writing and research done (if its all true). Still personally I don't think this will matter enough for Romney in the 2012 US elections. Romney has only one recent issue when he goes through an aggressive debate during Final Presidential Debate http://sandiegofreepress.org/2012/10/shapeshifting-romney-smacked-around-in-final-presidential-debate/. But this will not be stretched long. (just hoping)


Letter to the Editor Nov. 4, 2012 @ 12:04 p.m.

As a woman, Icannot bring myself to vote for Romney/Ryan.

I grew up in the '50s-'60s when abortion was illegal. Women died by the thousands across the U.S. Rich women took a cruise or toured Europe & were gone for a year & either had their child & put it up for adoption, brought it home as a fake adoption, or had a safe, though expensive, abortion in Switzerland. Poor women had no birth control other than denying their husbands & suffered through 10- or 20-odd pregnancies (suffering when she has no rest between pregnancies — 3 years between children recommended), died young, trusted a stranger to abort in unsanitary conditions, or did it themselves with a hanger or other device. Husbands simply remarried - they needed someone to care for their children, cook meals, wash, etc.

Planned Parenthood, vilified by those on the far right, had the best birth control class I've ever taken, including college & post-graduate psychology & physiology classes. Employees were warm, succinct, unshockable. (I was a naive 17-year-old, who thought only young & beautiful people had sex). I'll always be grateful to them for helping people (both men & women) on a sliding scale. Those who bombed clinics didn't seem to realize they treated women, their children, & did very well-qualified prenatal & post-natal care.

No one is in favor of abortion, but I refuse to make a 14-year-old girl risk her life to bear a child as a result of rape. Nor would I expect any woman to bear a child that has no brain, & therefore not the slightest chance of survival. Nor do I want to return to the '50s when a woman's only choices for a career were limited to teaching, nursing, or prostitution. I have no desire to return to being thought of as a second class citizen or criticized for taking a job from a man who needs to support his family. I thank God every day I work as a school bus driver for Title IX, without which I wouldn't have that job. Duke didn't want to hire me, though I aced the written & physical tests: we had to lift a 75lb bean bag in/out of a wheelchair & special needs van, because "all women do is stand around & talk".

I understand a man's resentment of the freedom birth control has given women, & truly wish all people remained chaste until marriage, but they don't. I wish our globe wasn't overcrowded & that there were simple solutions to pollution, but there aren't.

The USA is a wonderful country. I feel blessed to live here, but it's not a business & cannot be run like one. We're full of diverse & amazing people who work hard to make things better for their families, but we also need to take care of poor, lazy, incompetent people as well. The churches haven't managed to accomplish that for several centuries now - I don't see it happening tomorrow either.

It's common sense that if we spend money on healthcare for babies, they have a chance to grow up to contribute to, rather than detract from the economy. I don't think that's socialism. Rebecca Kiperts


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!