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Richard Lee Tomei


1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Richard Lee Tomei Obituary
November 27, 1929 - August 4, 2017 Richard Tomei passed away peacefully in the early hours of Friday morning, August 4, in Newport Beach, California, from complications due to dementia/Alzheimer's. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Virginia, his daughters Paula and Janice (husbands David Emmes and Robert Wade) and son Jeffrey (wife Diana). He was the beloved "Papa" of Emily and Jack Tomei and Alexa Wade, his three grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents Rofisto and Josephine Tomei (née Bertotti) and his brother Herman (wife JoAnn). He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews and cousins, both here and in Italy. Born in Benton, Illinois, to an Italian immigrant father and an Italian/American mother, Richard graduated from the University of Illinois in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. After completion of 4 years in ROTC at the university, he received his commission of 1st Lieutenant. He served in the US Army Ordnance Corps at Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, New Jersey from 1953-55. The remainder of his appointment was served in the US Army Reserve and he was honorably discharged with rank of 1st Lieutenant. He returned to his hometown of Christopher, Illinois in 1955, where he joined his father and brother in the family's Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. In 1956, he began his lifetime career in missiles and aerospace, joining Chrysler Missile in Detroit, Michigan, to work on missiles and rocket development. He went to work for Martin Marietta in Orlando, Florida, in 1959 to pursue his work in aerospace and in 1966 joined TRW (now Northrup Grumman) in Washington, DC. He transferred to TRW in Redondo Beach, California, in 1967 and he and Virginia selected Costa Mesa, California, to raise their family. He retired in 1988, after working for 32 years in the missile-aerospace industry. Richard was an avid sports fan and liked playing and watching most sports - tennis and golf were his favorites. But most of all, he relished spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Always the life of the party and possessing a huge heart, he was dearly loved by his family and friends. He will be missed beyond words. His family deeply appreciates the end-of-life care he received from the wonderful staffs at Newport Beach Plaza, Assurance Home Care Services and Care Choices Hospice. In accordance with his wishes, there will be no public memorial service. The family requests that donations be made in Richard's memory to Alzheimer's Orange County, 2515 McCabe Way, Irvine, CA 92614 (www.alzoc.org).
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 7 to Sept. 10, 2017
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