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C.A. "Pete" Tzomes

1944 - 2019
C.A. "Pete" Tzomes Obituary

Captain C.A. "Pete" Tzomes, U.S. Navy (Retired)

December 30, 1944-June 13, 2019

MILAN, IL-Captain C.A. "Pete" Tzomes, U.S. Navy (Retired), 74, of Milan, Illinois, passed away Thursday, June 13, 2019, at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa.

Services are 10:30 a.m. Friday at Second Baptist Church, 919 6th Avenue, Rock Island, IL with The Rev. Joseph D. Williamson III officiating. Military honors will follow at Rock Island National Cemetery, with burial at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Visitation is 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Trimble Funeral Home at Trimble Pointe, 701 12th Street, Moline. Memorials may be made to the tutoring program at Second Baptist Church.

Chancellor Alfonso Tzomes was born December 30, 1944, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and was raised by James C. and Charlotte E. (Hill) Tzomes. He married Carolyn Eason on July 14, 2007, in Rock Island, Illinois.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967 and had sea duty assignments on five nuclear-powered submarines. In May 1983, he made history through becoming the first African American to command a U.S. submarine during a change of command ceremony aboard the USS Houston (SSN 713. He also had the pleasure of being assigned as Commanding Officer, Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes (the Navy's boot camp) from June 1990 to June 1992.

Other assignments included a Pacific Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board member, Force Operations Officer on the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operationsnspector General at Naval Base, Charleston, South Carolina, where he retired in 1994. He was also very proud of the Navy's and external recognition for his achievements while serving as the Director, Equal Opportunity Division, Bureau of Naval Personnel and as the personal advisor to the Chief of Naval Personnel on equal opportunity issues. He was a 1991 recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award for his efforts in paving the path for leading the Navy's equal opportunity programs into the 21st century during this assignment.

Pete was very proud and vocal about his service to the country. "As a career submarine officer, I thrilled on operating independently from routine guidance and instruction. We were told the objectives of a mission and then were expected to use our professional skills, training and imagination to execute that mission. All citizens of this great democracy should be mindful of exactly what individual contributions are required for maintaining our freedom. I hate to see so many lack appreciation for what our service members and their families sacrifice so the rest of the country can live in freedom and enjoy their freedom of speech."

After departing the Navy and following a one-year stint as Bank One Vice President, Captain Tzomes worked as a utility manager in the nuclear division of Exelon Corporation until July 2012. He held various leadership positions while primarily assigned to the Quad Cities Generating Station located in western Illinois. He continued to keep abreast of Navy and military issues through his affiliation with the Naval Submarine League, the U.S. Naval Institute, the United States Submarine Veterans, the Navy League, the Military Officers Association, and the American Legion. He was also a member of the NAACP and supported the USO.

Captain Tzomes is survived by his beloved wife of 12 years, Carolyn Eason-Tzomes. He also leaves behind both a son and granddaughter from a previous marriage, Chancellor A. Tzomes, II and Mariana Tzomes, who reside in Sacramento, California. Other family members to cherish his memories include his 100-year-old Aunt Mildred and cousins, Diane Cloud, the late Donna Wright, Denise Statham, Donald Tomes and their families who all reside in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area; Franklin Johnson in Sacramento, California and a host of family and friends.

The family invites friends to share stories and condolences at TrimbleFuneralHomes.com.

Published in Quad-City Times from June 15 to June 19, 2019
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