Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Theodore Constantine Roumel, 84, a real estate developer who loved the arts, died of advanced Parkinson's disease May 9 at
his home in McLean. He had been a D.C. resident until he moved to McLean in 1991.
Mr. Roumel, known as Ted, was born in the District, the second son of Greek immigrants. As a youngster, he worked in his
parents' wholesale peanut and confectionary business, the OK Nut Co. on Seventh Street NW. He liked to recall that he became
adept at surreptitiously liberating the company's products. Almonds were his favorite.
He graduated from Central High School in 1940 and received an undergraduate degree in political science from George
Washington University in 1944. He also took classes at Georgetown University and the University of Virginia before joining the
State Department in 1945.
He served as vice consul in the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw in the late 1940s. When he returned to the United States, he enrolled
at the University of Virginia law school but had to drop out after contracting tuberculosis.
His family moved from nuts and candies to real estate, establishing a real estate investment and management firm called C.
Roumel Co. Mr. Roumel applied his interest in architecture, city planning and the arts to the company's many projects in the
Washington area. He and a partner built houses in Springfield, while he and a brother built houses, apartment buildings and
retail storefronts in the District. He never considered himself retired.
Mr. Roumel loved the arts. He dabbled in amateur theater in the 1960s and appeared in productions with the Montgomery
Players in Bethesda. In 1970, he received a master's degree in fine arts from American University and created numerous
paintings, pottery and large metal sculptures. A gifted linguist, he was fluent in Greek, Spanish and French, languages he put to
good use on his worldwide travels.
He supported the National Parkinson Foundation and was a member of St. Sophia Cathedral in the District, where he was an
altar boy in his youth.
Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Roberta Ong Roumel of McLean.