Congressional Gold Medal recipient Romulo L. Diaz Sr. dies at 103, has ties to Port Arthur, Nederland

Published 12:34 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023

DALLAS — Romulo L. “R.L.” Diaz Sr. has passed away at the age of 103.

The Congressional Gold Medal recipient and beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather reportedly died peacefully surrounded by family on Feb. 8 at the Faith Presbyterian Hospice in Dallas.

Diaz Sr. was born in Venezuela on Dec. 30, 1919.

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He was recruited to serve as a U.S. Merchant Marine for the former Gulf Oil in Philadelphia during World War II, until his honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard on Aug. 15, 1945.

That same year, he moved to Port Arthur following his marriage to Irene Rivera Diaz.

Following the war, he and Irene moved briefly to Venezuela before relocating permanently to Jefferson County and moving to Nederland in 1957 to raise their family.

Together, the two had four children — Romulo Jr., Anna, Jerry and David.

Diaz Sr. retired as a TRC supervisor from Texas in 1985, and then transported petrochemical products along the Gulf Coast as a licensed tanker driver until 2001.

Thereafter, he resided in Sugar Land and then Garland with his daughter and her husband.

In 2022, Diaz Sr. was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for his service.

By Jensen Toussaint

Editor’s note: This was originally published Feb. 13 at and is being published again with permission.