Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00
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.