Gary Roman, who managed Little Swiss Clock Shop in
downtown Waukesha for 41 years,
died on Nov. 29 at age 70.
WAUKESHA — Several decades ago, Karen and Eddie White
hired a house painter and were impressed by the work
ethic of young Gary Roman.
did such a good job, was not just proficient but very
detailed. And my husband and I looked at each other and
said, ‘Wow, that’s a good worker, we need to talk about
him,’” Karen White said.
Whites were about to hire someone who would be a major
contributor to their business.
Roman was brought on staff at the Whites’ store, Little
Swiss Clock Shop, and Eddie White taught the new hire
the details of the operation.
Roman took to retailing “Like a duck to water,” Karen
was a people person,” White continued about Roman, who
died on Nov. 29 at age 70. “He just enjoyed the
customers so much.”
Originally from Flint, Michigan, Roman had settled in
Waukesha following military service, according to Karen
White, who said Roman’s family included a wife and two
Roman “became a manager in a very short time,” said
Karen White, who said her husband Eddie White was a
watchmaker who decided to open the retail store in 1968.
the start of his time with the store, Roman worked
regular store hours in the shop and after hours with
Eddie White on house calls, delivering new grandfather
clocks and servicing others.
Eddie White passed away, Karen White said, it was Roman
who stepped in to help.
“Gary was my mainstay. He took care of anything and
everything and took care of it with a smile,” she said,
praising both Roman’s technical and interpersonal
Roman worked for 41 years as manager of the downtown
store, and retired five years ago after being diagnosed
with Alzheimer’s, said Karen White.
think that’s some kind of a record downtown,” she said
of Roman’s tenure.
said Roman continued working smaller jobs for the store
following his retirement.
Bruce Eutin, a friend of Roman’s, had worked part time
at Little Swiss Clock Shop in the 1970s and often teamed
up with Roman on deliveries.
I ever had a business, I would have wanted Gary to work
for me. He was probably the most honest and dependable
guy you could meet,” Eutin said.
two friends shared an interest in sports; bowling,
golfing, and car racing. Eutin said that at work Roman
quietly went about his job and didn’t get rattled too
friends took trips to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
and to Michigan to visit some of Roman’s family members.
Eutin described his sadness at his friend’s diagnosis of
Alzheimer’s and recent passing.
had some great times working together and our sports
together,” Eutin said. 'I really miss him.'
White also said Roman is missed among the employees and
customers at the shop where he so diligently worked for
over four decades.
this day, people are still calling and asking for him,”
made quite an impression.”