Frank Politeo died peacefully on the morning of Gaudete Sunday, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1924, to Tom Politeo and Gizela Breskovich, both immigrants from the Island of Brac, Croatia. In 1933, his family returned to Croatia, settling in Zagreb. While studying architecture at the University of Zagreb, Frank met and fell in love with fellow student, Zdenka Gubec. After marrying in Zagreb, Frank was a devoted husband to Zdenka for 72 years. Together, they made their home in San Pedro where they raised their children, Tom and Melinda.
In 1954, Frank started his architectural firm resulting in an award-winning, over sixty-year career. His firm designed numerous projects throughout California and Washington including: Commercial buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, condominium and housing developments, medical complexes, temples, churches, factories and custom homes. He was the architectural consultant for Star Kist Foods, designing its various projects in California, Samoa and Peru.
Frank's avocation as a talented tenor ranged from opera to his beloved Croatian songs. As a young man in Zagreb, he studied classical voice with the famous voice teacher and Croatian composer, Ivo Lhothka-Kalinski. Frank furthered his voice training in Los Angeles with the operatic tenor, Mario Chamlee. With his beautiful lyric tenor, Frank became a popular singer and entertainer in the Croatian community in California. Throughout their lives, Frank and his wife Zdenka, actively and passionately preserved and promoted their Croatian culture and heritage. Frank's family was his greatest joy. His happy home with Zdenka was always filled with family, friends and many memorable parties.
Frank was a kind and generous man. His optimistic spirit, sense of humor and love of friends enriched the lives of everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed. A memorial mass celebrating his life will take place next year.
Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Dec. 31, 2020.