Frank Tomeo, of Dunnville, Kentucky passed away on Sunday, September 25, 2022, at his home. He was 80 years old.
Born on May 19, 1942, in Corona, Queens, New York, he was the son of the late Louis Tomeo and Mary Tobin Brienza. He attended Brooklyn Prep High School and Fordham University. While at Fordham University, he was twice elected Fordham athlete of the year. Frank still stands as one of the best middle distance runners in Fordham track history. In 1962, Frank set a new school record in the indoor half mile with a time of 1:51.8. He anchored Fordham’s IC4A outdoor mile champion relay team and was national indoor champion in the 1,000 yards, garnering All-American honors in 1962. Frank also excelled in the 880, and led the Rams to first place in the Metropolitan Relays. After graduating from Fordham in 1963, Frank attended graduate school at the University of Bonn in Germany. He became platoon commander in the Marines at Quantico, VA where he also competed internationally for the Quantico Track team. He was a second lieutenant in 1963. He was promoted to first lieutenant and served as a regimental intelligence officer for the 26th Marines and was promoted to Captain at Okinawa and served as regimental intelligence officer at Khe Sanh, Vietnam.
After Vietnam, Frank moved from Corona to Port Washington, New York on Long Island. He worked as an advertising executive on Madison Avenue working for CBS Sports and the World Wrestling Federation. While in Port Washington, Frank loved to volunteer his time coaching children, especially the Port Washington Blasters Soccer Club. He was well loved by the families and children that got to know him. Coach Tomeo is remembered by his players for his inspirational and memorable speeches and his winning attitude. He implored his players to laugh, think and never give up.
After leaving a long career of advertising in New York City, Frank moved to Kentucky to pursue his childhood dream of living on a farm. While in Kentucky, he became a full-time cattle rancher and was a beloved member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where he often volunteered his time and met many wonderful people and friends.
He is survived by his son, Brian Tomeo of Miami, Florida and Brian’s wife Mayra; daughter, Barbara Tomeo of San Diego, California; granddaughter, Stella Tomeo; sisters, Mitzi Tietjen and Patricia DePrima; stepbrother, Chris Tomeo; and stepsister, Diane Hill.
A funeral mass was held at on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father George Otuma officiating. Military honors were provided by the Casey County Veterans Honor Guard.
Arrangements for Frank Tomeo were entrusted to McKinney-Brown Funeral Home. An online guestbook is available at www.mckinneybrown.com
Frank was a great friend. I didn’t get to actually know Frank until the Fall of 1964, but I knew of him before that. I was a runner on the Brown University track team from 1960 through 1964, and when competing in track meets in New York City, such as the Millrose Games, I would see Frank competing. He was an excellent runner, and I admired his abilities. Little did I know that we would end up as platoon mates at the US Marine Corps Officer Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. We arrived on the same day, and, because we were assigned alphabetically, we ended up in the same platoon. Because we both ran track, we were “retained” at Quantico after graduating from Basic School, so that we could run on the USMC track team. We ran together, as teammates the summer of 1965 and 1966. I drove him up to the local Ford dealership when he bought his first car. Frank was one of the sword bearing ushers when I was married in a military wedding in the Fall of 1965. Frank ran in many individual events while we were on the Marine Corps team. We also ran together in several two mile relay events. The most notable was in the Mason-Dixon Games in Louisville, where we ran 7:27.1, which was very close to the world record at the time. Frank also was instrumental to our success in winning the Interservice team Championship in 1966. When that season was over, we both received orders to Vietnam. We trained together at Camp Pendleton, CA, before we went on the same ship to Okinawa, and we both trained together in Okinawa. Although we went to Vietnam at slightly different times, because we had different specialties, I would see him in Vietnam from time to time. For a few years after Vietnam, when we became civilians, Frank and I got together from time to time, but job, family, and and things like that intervened, and I didn’t see Frank for years. Decades later, when the Quantico Athletes of the 1960’s reunion organization was founded, I would see Frank at the reunions. It was great reconnecting with him. In between reunions, we often would talk on the phone. At a reunion in San Diego, Frank volunteered to host the reunion the following year, near his hometown in Kentucky. Unfortunately, that reunion was postponed, due to COVID, as was the reunion that was supposed to take place in Kentucky the following year, also due to COVID. While we were still trying to decide where and when the next reunion would place, Frank passed away. Frank was a good friend, and an important part of my life. I miss him greatly.