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Obituary: Leo Tomei, 90

Mineola resident Leo James Tomei, 90, passed away on Jan. 17 at Winthrop-University Hospital. His graveside ceremony was March 21 at the Long Island National Cemetery.

 

This hard working ageless man was born in Manhattan on Dec. 27, 1923 (the year the first Yankee Stadium was built) but then moved to the Bronx. As a long time Yankees fan having met all the greats sports figures, he then served in the 27th General Hospital serving in Burma/India/China in WWII as a private in the U.S. Army.

 

Tomei was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and WWII Victory Medal.

 

On Oct. 23, 1955, Tomei married his wife Nina A. Neri whom he adored and he moved to Brooklyn to be near her family to raise four children while working as a sanitation man in Queens. 

 

This workaholic family man finally retired and settled in Mineola. He loved driving his car around town, riding the waves at Jones Beach into his 70s, loved the horses and played OTB and visited Belmont, loved bowling with a passion and achieved 200 scores well into his 80s at Sheridan Bowling Alley on Jericho Turnpike, while boasting being the oldest on the teams. 

 

Before being devastated with losing his wife after 50 years of marriage in 2006 to breast cancer, they were both members of the Mineola Seniors Club.

 

Nicknamed Leo the Lion, he always said his secret to longevity was working hard, loving the Yankees and Jones Beach, bowling, loving his wife and his family, as well as that one glass of Merlot red wine with dinner each night and cheesecake for dessert

 

Tomei’s four children have married and led successful lives, with two still living in Mineola. He is survived by nine grandchildren (three residing in Mineola), whom he adored also.

 

Weigand Funeral home took excellent care of his cremation and military ceremony attended by St Aidan’s deacon.

 

In lieu of flowers, his family has requested donations in his memory to USO and VFW.

News

Mineola Street Fair coordinators are canvassing the downtown area to enlist local businesses for the fourth annual Mineola Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event on Saturday, Sept. 14 at noon, with an Oct. 5 rain date. Opening ceremonies begin at 1 p.m.

 

“We’ve been walking the streets trying to get more businesses involved,” Chamber vice president and Piccola Bussola owner Tony Lubrano said. “It’s the same struggle every year but at the end, it all comes together.”

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com