Remembering Gustavo “Compis” Romero

compiscesarwebSad News: Long time UFW staffer and close friend Gustavo “Compis” Romero passed away on Thursday 6/4/09 at 9:50pm in Delano.

Prayer services will be held on Sunday, June 14 at 11 am at Casa Hernandez at 200 S. Albany St, Delano, CA, 93215.  Please click here to RSVP if you are attending the service.

Whether or not you are able to attend, we ask that you please share your personal memories of  Compis with us by leaving a “reply” below. Viva Compis!

“Cesar knew there were many Cesar Chavezes in the movement–there  were many men and women who made huge sacrifices and accomplished great  things, but who never got much recognition. Gustavo (“Compis”) Romero was one  of those heroic figures in the United Farm Workers. He never wavered in his  commitment. He gave everything for the union, and more, and that devotion gave  meaning to his life. Compis once said, ‘The aim of the union was so  that farm workers could air their grievances and get a little justice.’ Compis  spent his life making it happen. We will miss him very much.”Helen Chavez

“From the day he walked out on strike in the Salinas Valley lettuce fields in 1970, Compis became one of those selfless people who totally dedicated themselves to the farm workers’ cause. Compis used to say Cesar taught him the power of giving people something when you don’t ask for anything in return. Cesar and Compis shared much in common and they forged a close friendship that lasted for the rest of their lives. Now they are once again united together in brotherhood and solidarity.”UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez


52 Responses to Remembering Gustavo “Compis” Romero

  1. ADSLA says:

    Que Viva Compis!

  2. Jocelyn Sherman says:

    Viva Compis. I’ll miss you.

  3. Armando Elenes says:

    I will always remember the “brother” as Compis used to say. QUE VIVA!!

  4. Julianna Uranday-Osorno says:

    “Viva Compis” Compis you all always be remembered. I will miss you coming into the office here in Delano (40 Acres). And having our little talks.

  5. Pete Castillo says:

    Gustavo Romero was always in a good mood. He helped many people…he was full of history and it was a joy to work around him and listen to his many stories! He will be missed.

  6. Flora Diaz says:

    “Compis” will be missed dearly by all here at Casa Hernandez.

  7. Evelyn Leyva says:

    Gustavo you will be missed here at Casa Hernandez.
    Especially your smile and great humor!

  8. Nohemi Gonzalez says:

    “Compis” We are going to miss you.

  9. Irv Hershenbaum says:

    Compis was a strong leader. He helped build the UFW in Salinas and Coachella. He developed himself learning how to negotiate. He loved to empower the workers. I have many fond memories of Compis bringing workers to Los Angeles to picket Tiangis (Vons) supermarkets.

    One vivid memory was going out with Compis to the D’Arrigo buses and updating “Avogado” and other workers on the legal cases. Viva Cumpis!

  10. Irv Hershenbaum says:

    Viva Cumpis! Your spirit will inspire us as we organize the farm workers!

  11. Abby F. Rivera says:

    Compis, we thank you for taking care of our beloved farm worker leader, Cesar E. Chavez, as you traveled down country roads or long stretches of highway with him throughout the years. You guarded to keep him safe, gave him quiet time to plan, and filled his free moments with jazz so that he could relax. Even though you “turned his thing around” regarding jazz, you said it was nothing compared to how Cesar turned your life around in an unexpected, deeply meaningful way when you joined the fight for justice in the lettuce strike of 1970 in Salinas and stayed forever. RIP union brother.
    -Abby F. Rivera

  12. Jorge L. Guizar says:

    i’m sure that he will be missed. Si Sepuede! viva La causa. no queremos organisar al Mundo solo queremos Empesar,by Cesar E. Chavez

  13. oscar mejia says:

    la lucha sigue y el espiritu de compys esta con nosotros para creser y defender nuestra union
    !si se puede!

  14. Melinda Llamas says:

    que viva Compis, you will be missed very much

  15. Paul R. Chavez says:

    I had the fortunate opportunity to know Compis and see him at work. He was one of the true heros of the movement. He and his efforts will be greatly missed. VIVA COMPIS!

  16. Cecilio Iniguez says:

    Los que hemos conocido la Union en su segunda generacion sabemos de los grandes sacrificios de los pioneros. Muchas gracias Compis y ojala que muchos de nosotros nos contagiemos de su generosidad. ¡Que descanse en paz y que viva para siempre.!

  17. Juanita Valdez-Cox says:

    I thank “compis” for his example of dedication and commitment! Que en paz descanse esta gran persona!

  18. benny leon says:

    I had opurtunity of know his grate person on may 1994

  19. Nancy Oropeza says:

    Thank you COMPIS for educating DELANO high school and Cesar E. Chavez high school students about the movement and other communities issues.
    Class of 2006 will remember you always!

  20. Hilda Garcia says:

    Viva Compis en nuestros corazones por siempre! This hero will be missed. Que descanse en paz. Our condolences to his family that he once shared with my Mom, Maribel and Carlos and me.

    • Cece Roger says:

      Hello Hilda,
      I am Celia Gomez’s daughter. Thank you for your kind words. Please tell you mother that Celia can be reached at (520) 746-1694.

  21. Alicia B. Sandoval says:

    Querido amigo! Compis,

    You are an inspiration to all of us. Te vamos a extra~nar! You will always be in our hearts. You were such a great organizer and leader. There are no words to describe your dedication, passion, and commitment to the farmworkers. Like Cesar said, “Every common man, can do uncommon things”, you lived up to that and more. Si Se Puede!

    In my thoughts and prayers, I will miss you!
    Que Viva Compis!

  22. Claudia and Sergio Guzman says:

    In 1989 Compis was in charge of negotiations at The Campbell’s mushroom Company in Pescadero, CA. He had an amazing capability to relate to the workers with compassion and respect. He was always full of wonderful stories about his early days with Cesar. He will be greatly missed.
    Que descanse en Paz.

  23. Washington State Chavistas says:

    Even though we may never had met, it is with great sadness when a Chavista dies. We are a group of x-organizers from Washington State and Chavistas for life. Our prayers and thoughts are with Compis and his union family…may he rest in peace.
    Carlos and Roberto Trevino and the Union Boycotters of Seattle.

  24. Giev Kashkooli says:

    I met Compis in his small, unassuming, corner desk in the Coachella office when I first started full time working for the UFW in 1994. His confidence, knowledge, and commitment to the UFW all came through in my very first impression. I am greatful I had the opportunity to work with him as part of small campaigns in Coachella, Los Angeles, and Delano when he was retired but helping out on Camp Justice. His dedication to La Causa is staggering.

  25. Rest in peace Brother Compis.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you,
    your family and friends during this difficult time.
    You will be missed, and God bless you always.
    My sincere condolences.
    victor aleman

  26. Jeannette Mosqueda says:

    Although I did not know Compis, I hear of his accomplishments and passion for the youth in our community…we need more people to inspire the kids of today!

  27. Marshelle Fernandez says:

    I, like so many others will miss brother Compis. I will treasure my memories of working with him in the movement and at LaPaz. I will miss seeing his smile and hearing his “Heyyy Marchella” whenever we would meet…..

    I know he is up in heaven right now, on the hand ball court with Cesar…..Viva Compis! Viva Cesar! Viva!

  28. Nancy Romero says:

    “What Chicken” he used to shout when he would drop by my office in Delano office, when i worked as an organizer at 40 acres. I asked him, where did you get that from Compis, and he said he got that from a commercial. He was a character!

    I admired Compis for his knowledge with the different fields he worked within the movement, his creativity and his dedication to the “Chief” Cesar. He was a true warrior for La Causa, and will be remembered!


  29. Erika Oropeza says:

    “Compis” Siempre te voy a recordar…Como el mejor ejemplo de interes por la Justicia para los trabajadores del campo. Yo comence como voluntaria para la U.F.W. en el 2003 y tuve el gusto de conocer a Don Compis y su interes en ese tiempo era formar un Comite para ayudar en las actividades de la U.F.W. y su sueno se volvio realidad yo fui parte del comite Cesar E. Chavez Dolores Huerta de Delano como presidenta y fue una experiencia muy bonita. Q descanses en paz “Compis”

  30. Jocelyn Sherman says:

    When I think of Compis I thing of commitment. Throughout my 20 yrs in the union, Compis was always there ready to do whatever La Causa needed of him. No job was too big or too small–he was there to help. He was Cesar’s body guard and friend. When Artie was elected president, he helped carry hil around the room. He was great about helping train new folks–giving them the unions past in a simple way. I can’t imaging going to Casa Hernandez and not seeing him & his smile. Compis, I will miss you very much.
    Viva Compis!

  31. Eva Vasquez-Camacho says:

    A quiet hero, smart as heck, funny, and loyal til the very end. RIP….

  32. After hearing about Compis passing, I was saddened and began to think about how we met. We first met in La Paz. I was there visiting my sons and their families. Compis came over and introduced himself. During our conversation I found out he was from Los Angeles and I told him I was from San Diego. We got along well and so every time I visited La Paz, I would make sure to go and see him. One particular time when I was at his place, I came across some photos and began to look through them. It was then I realized he was in the Army. He explained to me he was a paratrooper and then proceeded to ask if I had been in the service. I told him I was a Marine to which he replied, “Wow.” He asked if I had seen any combat and I told him yes. He asked if it was rough and I said, “Yeah, when anybody is shooting at you, it’s rough!” We laughed and spoke about our service to this country. Then, one day, I showed up again for another visit, and he was gone. I was told he went to Delancy Street Foundation, so I continued my visits with him there. One time, Compis was able to receive a big bag of clothes, which had been donated to the foundation, and he turned around and sent the bag up to La Paz for the workers there. It was because of some of the jackets and sweaters in that bag that we were able to keep very warm on a trip to Canada. As time went by, Compis was eventually discharged from Delancy Street and he returned to La Paz. He gave me a cane that I still use to this day – that was the last time I saw him. Thanks Compis. Que Viva Compis!!!!!!

  33. Fernando Chavez says:

    I knew Gustavo “Compis” Romero as my godfather and as a dedicated UFW supporter. He will be remembered by the movement forever and his spirit will go on. Que Viva Compis! Que Viva!

  34. Pablo Rodriguez says:

    I first met Compis in 1994 after spending a summer working with Cecila Ruiz, and hearing her and many many organizers share countless Compis stories.

    When I finally met him – I wasn’t disappointed. Friends, stories of adventres and laughter accompanied Compis wherever he went. For those same reasons – Compis will forever be with us.

    ¡Que Viva Compis!

  35. Arthur Rodriguez says:

    I knew Gustavo Romero, but only as “Compis.” When I heard of the sad news, I began to reflect on the memories that I have of him. His heavy laugh followed by a big smile while he wore his San Francisco Giants cap will forever be etched in my memory of Compis. Compis, is a man who showed commitment to a cause greater than himself, he was great example of what it means to have compassion for your fellow man.

    “Viva Compis”

    Y PAZ Hermano

  36. lupe & maria martinez says:

    Compis, a man who stood by his values without any waivering to la causa, la huelga and the members. I had the honor, previlege to have been his co-worker and learn. He was a contract administrator and great at handling grievances. Compis was a person who was a straight shooter, he said it as he saw it. That is needed when you have to deal with contract administration, members repected that. Compis came to the 40 acres and spent his time here. The last day Maria and I saw him was on Memorial day down main st. Delano, he stopped right on the street and we talked away. It was the to be the last day. Compis will be missed.


  37. Lucy Boutte says:

    I remember all those wonderful summer nights when we sat outside listening to you, Gilbert and your brother tell stories of the “lucha” with so much passion. You were always and inspiration to me.
    Now you get to join the “Jefe” and the “Big Jefe” and all those who worked so hard to bring farm workers a better life. Tell my good friend Gilbert hello for me and I know that just as you and Gilbert watched out for us at 40 Acres, you will continue to do so with greater power and passion. Interesting how writing on this page feels like a direct line to the other side. Peace good and faithful servant!
    Lucy Boutte

  38. lupe & maria martinez says:

    compis thank you for you friendship we miss you I will always remember you and Cesar Chavez ,and G ilbert and Lucke Cole as my Heroes of mylife be in peace compis

  39. Ruby Medrano says:

    I don’t remember when we met.I know he is one of the faithful hard working chavistas who dedicated his life to bring justice to the fields. He will be missed by all. Rest in peace, your dedication and hard work made will always be remembered.
    Ruby Medrano -Los Angeles

  40. Karen May says:

    Compis was a very special person. When I was a young organizer Compis always made me feel safe, and welcome, like my contribution mattered. He had a quiet wisdom in his eyes that told stories of his experience and life challenges without saying a word — you knew that he had been through it and came out the other side with compassion, truth, and a fierce, unshakable committment that stood as a beacon of light to those he touched. He was a rare teacher and I feel so grateful to have known him. Compis, you will be sorely missed — que descanses en paz & justicia.

  41. Virginia Acosta says:

    i always known gustavo as my Uncle Jr. Ever since i can remember i remember him telling me to stay in school and how education is what makes you a strong person, that the mind is one of the greatest tools you can have. It’s only now his death that i know my uncle as “Compis.” He was a strong amazing leader. i thank every one for there stories. He will always be in so many of our hearts. He touched many lives. He is truly a beautiful angle watching over all of us. i will miss you and love you my uncle. love “boongies”

  42. Virgie (Compis neice) says:

    I knew him as Uncle JR. He was the third of seven children the oldest son. My Mama was number five, they were tight like best friends. sometimes I would get upset with them when they partied too much and my mom would say he was her brother before i was her daughter so he came first. They didn’t teach us to speak spanish because that was how they kept secrets. all I know is he called her pendeha and she called him pinche Jr (i think thats how it’s spelled).
    He would play the guitar and she would sing. those are some of my most fond childhood memories.
    I know my Mama’s singing again and Heaven will never be the same.
    Thank you U.F.W. for taking care of my uncle when we weren’t there, and for introducing us to Compis.
    God Bless all of you

  43. Maribel Garcia-Tapia says:

    Compis, you have and always will live in our hearts. Your in the best place now! God, Cesar and Artie”bami” are celebrating your life.

    Familia: As long as we always remember him, not only for the things he did but for whom he was, he will always be with us.

    Thank you!

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  50. Patricia Romero says:

    Compis was a very special person to many people and it’s nice to read everyone’s comments about him.
    I am Compis neice his younger brothers daughter. My uncle had a big heart and always watched out for others. I had a chance to speak to my uncle before he passed, but because he had no children I never knew how to contact anyone in regards to his services or where he was laid to rest. I would like to know where my uncle was buried at or who can I speak to about getting that information.

    Thank you
    Patsy Romero

  51. John Ervin says:

    What an inspiration! Be wafted by angels close to our Lord, and right next to Cesar!

    Si se puede y Viva Helen Chavez y Viva La Raza!

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