Anthony Tomeo, 94

Anthony Tomeo, 94, of Northview Estates, formerly of Woodside Ave. Ellwood City passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at the Ellwood City Hospital.

Born February 8, 1923 in Baiano, Italy, he was the son of the late Stefano and Giorgina DeGennaro Tomeo. He was married to Violet “Honey” Paswell Tomeo who passed away January 28, 2002.

Tony retired in 1985 as the Head of the Maintenance Department at M.S.L. Industries in Ellwood City. He was a member of Holy Redeemer Church. Anthony served as an interpreter for the US Army during WW II. He served in Europe and Germany with the 82nd Infantry Division. He was an expert on the M-1 Rifle. While in the Army, Tony earned the Victory and German Occupancy Medals. He was honorably discharged in Paris as a Military Projectionist. An avid golfer, Tony was a life member of the Sylvan Heights Golf Course. He enjoyed golfing well into his 80’s. He also enjoyed gardening, but his most cherished time was spent with his extensive family.

Survivors include a daughter, Giorgina (Lou) Sbarro of Ellwood City; three sons, Anthony Tomeo Jr. of New Castle, Carmine Tomeo of New Jersey, Mark Steven Tomeo of Pittsburgh; a sister, Santina “Sandy” (Tony) Zona of New Castle; sister in law, Sabatina “Tina” Tomeo of New York; 10 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren. He also leaves behind, his long time companion, Grace DeCaria and her seven children and their families; numerous nieces and nephews in New Jersey, New York, Florida, and California; and his loving family in Baiano, Rome, and Milan who he enjoyed visiting.

He was preceded in death by four brothers, Paul, Thomas, Steve, Armando; sister, Philomenia; and a granddaughter, Amanda.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, June 30 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at the Marshall Funeral Home 200 Fountain Ave. Ellwood City. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday at 10 am at Holy Redeemer Church with Father Zachary Galiyas officiating. Interment will follow in Holy Redeemer Cemetery. Full military rites will be offered by the Veterans Honor Guard.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Dementia or Alzheimer’s Research Foundations.

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4 thoughts on “Anthony Tomeo, 94

  1. My sincere condolences to all!
    Your father was a wonderful personality so loved his visit to my dad in his elder years
    He surely loved family
    Love Frances Tomeo
    Tommy Tomeo daughter

  2. My Uncle Tony. My visits with him whether alone or with my wife, Mary Ellen remain vivid in our memories as they are part of our consciousness. He had the personality and a way about him that I aspired to but could never achieve–a kind loving and wonderful man with a gentle soul. When he spoke to you it was all about love and respect. He was so positive. When my wife, Mary Ellen and I visited with him in the 1970s when we lived in Ohio, he was so encouraging to us as a couple. And, I would always ask Mary Ellen, “Is he for real?” You just do not come across men like him. He was wonderful. No matter the advice or the discussion, God was present in them.

    When we met President Eisenhower at the White House in the 1950s I was 10 or 11 years old. The President came out into the Rose Garden of the White House where we were with a bunch of students. Ike came up to me and asked me, “Who did you vote for?” Of course, TT answered for me telling Ike, “He voted for you.” Everyone laughed including Ike. Then Ike spotted Uncle Tony and spoke with him about his service in WWII. Ike was enthralled and really animated. Ike told us that he was having such a great time that he wanted us to come back the following week when one of his former Sergeants from the War would be there with a group of kids. His aids heard this and came up to Ike and whispered in his ear that he had to leave for another meeting in the Oval Office with some Ambassador. Ike ignored the man. Then his Press Secretary, James Haggerty came up to him and said that he had to leave because he had a meeting to attend in the Oval Office but Ike turned to Haggerty and said, “Jim, leave me alone. I am having a great time.” He did not just say it, he “barked it,” a 5 Star General giving a command to an officer. Haggerty backed off and stood off to the side. Ike continued talking with Uncle Tony about the war. They were smiling and laughing. Ike spoke with us for at least a half hour or more. The meeting was arranged by Bernard Shanley, Ike’s appointment secretary who went on to great fame and fortune by establishing a powerhouse law firm in the NY, NJ, Washington, DC areas and who remained a good friend to my father until his death. We all had a great time. A once in a lifetime experience. There was Uncle Tony originally from Baiano, Italy talking to the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world and telling Ike his story about enlisting in the military after being rejected and writing to FDR. It was like two battlefield chums who have not seen each other in a long time but had that connection to the most awesome battles in world history to save the world. The famous General–Dwight David Eisenhower–now President of the United States talking with one of his soldiers and exuding love and respect for what that soldier did in battle at his orders. That my friends is what Ike thought when he met Tony Tomeo. I was there and you could just see it. Ike loved his soldiers and Uncle Tony was one of them. What a moment in time that I shall never forget.

    The next day the NY Daily News had a front page picture with Uncle Tony and Ike shaking hands and smiling. Of course, Uncle Tony was so handsome with his long black wavy hair and his movie star looks. Some people in the crowd told him he looked like the movie star, Errol Flynn. Believe me, he looked better than Flynn ever looked on his best day.

    We received fan mail from people all over the world. Many of the letters came to our home in NJ for Uncle Tony. I think a woman from Australia sent a marriage proposal to Uncle Tony. She obviously did not know he was married. Gosh, he had those movie star looks! Calm and reassuring, always a big smile, full of wisdom and so grateful for what he had, he was a complete man. Like all of us, I cannot imagine going through life without a worry. But he always seemed to have a song in his heart, which helps.

    Even though I rarely saw or spoke with him, during my quiet times I thought about him.

    I alluded to it before, but my favorite story was the one he told me about enlisting in the military. He told me he flunked his physical because he was too short. Not to be deterred he wrote a letter to FDR complaining and within a few weeks he was inducted. He was a patriot! God bless him and all of those like him.

    My regrets are about not communicating with him as I should of. Maybe calling or flying out to see him would have been nice. Perhaps inviting him out to see me would have been nicer. But he knew that he was always welcome and God only know why I did not do what I should have–being a better nephew.. About 15 years ago he started calling at Christmas time. I’d be sitting in my chair at home, the phone would ring and this distinctive voice would say, “Stevie, God bless you, how are you,Mary Ellen and the children doing?” We would speak, he was to the point and brief and then he would hang up until the following Christmas. I cannot tell you how much I loved that guy even though it did not get expressed by me. I shall miss the calls. Now we can communicate in another way.

    How does a man make it to age 94 going through WW!!, busting his back at work, raising a family with your wife and dealing with life’s anxieties? Hey Uncle Tony make sure God sends me some of your genes. Don’t forget to put in a good word.

    Do they have golf courses in heaven? He has many more years of playing. To think he played the game into his late 80s. God, not even Palmer did that. Isn’t that what life is all about? You know, chasing that little white ball around the course and at the same time enjoying and smelling the roses along with the scent of the grass and all of the greenery. Uncle Tony, you knew how to live and enjoy life!

    I never heard him complain about work. To me, he seemed so relaxed and carefree it hardly seemed that he worked at all. Ha, ha!! But, he did. In a world where so many people complain, I loved talking with him because he did not. Don’ worry Uncle Tony, I complained for both of us! He never talked to me about his work because you see he was interested in YOU and not talking about himself. He wanted to know how Mary Ellen, I and the children were doing. When we visited, we would see him on a Friday evening when visiting and staying in Elwood City and he was as happy as a lark, full of life and ready to visit with you. He always had time for you no matter the occasion and when he spoke with you he gave you his full attention. Wow! He seemed to have a lot of patience.

    During one visit we arrived on a Friday or Saturday. It was still daylight and there was an ambulance in front of grandpa’s house to taking him to the hospital. I stayed in the house but Mary Ellen was outside with the ambulance and Uncle Tony was advising grandpa to get into the ambulance. Grandpa would have no part of it and was arguing with everyone and cursing a mile a minute. He looked all right to me but everyone seemed to be worried that he either had a stroke or a heart attack. What ever was going on it seemed like he was in charge. He was stubborn. Well, Uncle Tony convinced him to get into the ambulance, which he did but sat in the passenger seat and that was how he went to the hospital. The second attendant had to ride in the back sitting aside the stretcher. What an experience, but Uncle Tony was calm and had it under control.

    How nice it must have been to have him for a father. Just thinking about it puts me in a different world.

    Thank you Georgina for reaching out to us about Uncle Tony’s passing. Thank you, Georgina. Today, June 29, 2017, Mary Ellen went into her photo archives that she keeps upstairs and we looked at a few pictures of Uncle Tony, Grandpa, my sister and our two small children: Stefano, Jr. and Andrea. Uncle Tony had this mod hairdo. I said to Mary Ellen that I could not believe how young we all looked. And Uncle Tony looked younger than me. As they say, ” That’s a lot of pasta under the table.”

    The sharing of these memories is important to me and is meant as an expression of love to tell his family how important he was to us even though we talked infrequently and met even less. He was and will always be in our hearts. We love him.

    Oh, one more story. When Mary Ellen and I were married in Hackettstown my dad wanted Uncle Tony to take movie pictures of the wedding using TT’s movie camera. So he gave Uncle Tony the camera who took the pictures. In those days we did not have video cameras. I do not know how many feet of movies he took but he did as TT instructed. Now that could be a chore in itself especially if he was giving the instructions in Italian. Anyway, when TT had the film developed he came home and as the story goes, he got out his projector and started watching the moving pictures only there was only a little bit on film–you could hardly see anything. My mother said it was so funny watching the volcano erupt– TT hitting the roof. I bet he called Uncle Tony and gave him an ear-full. I can imagine Uncle Tony laughing and telling him, “I did what you told to do.” It was funny! I brought it up with TT years later and blamed him, which did not sit too well. That was Tomeo World–NJ hyper and PA cool!!! What characters. This was sit-com material.

    What do you say to the children of such a wonderful man. I tried finding an Italian poem that could bring this into focus; however, the old sonnets did not sit well with me. I love to read poems because the great poets seem to be able to talk about life that is to the point using words and rhymes that help you to understand what life is all about. I did find a nice poem written by an unknown author, which is as follows:

    By an Unknown Author

    That man is a success –
    who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
    who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children;
    who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
    who leaves the world better than he found it;
    who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
    who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

    To me, that is Uncle Tony who left the world a better way than he found it.

    God bless everyone,
    Steven and Mary Ellen Tomeo
    Pomfret Center, Connecticut

  3. Dear Carmine,
    My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Knowing your love of family, I was sorry to hear of your Father’s passing. Your Dad had a very wonderful life. God blessed him with 94 years, sharing them with family and friends. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love you and yours,
    Baba Onda

  4. Dear Carmine and all,
    For everything there is a season…
    Our deepest and sincere sympathy. We feel very much for you and yours.
    Our prayers,

    Denise and Al

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