Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary

3655 5Th Ave, San Diego, CA


Thomas Richard Amantea

January 4, 1937November 30, 2019

Thomas Richard Amantea, Esq. Captain, United States Navy (Ret.)

Longtime Bonita resident and attorney, Captain Thomas Amantea, U.S. Navy (Ret.) passed away peacefully on Nov. 30th after a long and valiant battle with complications from surgery to repair an aneurism. He was 82.

Captain Amantea was born Jan. 4, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York to Ignatius and Concetta (Caruso) Amantea. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School and graduated from City University of New York with a Bachelor degree in Political Science. Besides his family, to whom he was devoted, Tom had three passions: naval aviation, law and fishing. Upon graduation from college, he joined the Navy and completed flight training in Pensacola, Florida. In April of 1960, he was commissioned an Ensign through the Aviation Officer Candidate program and embarked upon a distinguished, 26-year career as a Naval Flight Officer. He rose to command Airborne Early Warning (VAW) Squadron 114, composed of carrier-based E2B (Hawkeye) aircraft. Captain Amantea was a Vietnam War veteran. Among his numerous sea and shore assignments, he served as Flag Secretary to Commander Carrier Division Three based in Alameda, California and as Comptroller on the staff of Commander Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet.

His medals and decorations include the Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (with silver star), Vietnamese Air Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with palm device) and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

While in the Navy, Tom attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, graduating with a Master of Science degree in Economics and Systems Analysis in 1966. He also attended the National War College, graduating in 1978. After retiring from the Navy, he took up another of his passions and enrolled in law school, graduating from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. He then passed the California Bar exam and opened his own private practice in Bonita, focusing on estate planning and tax law.

Tom was an avid sports fan and he particularly loved baseball and fishing. He enjoyed fishing for lake trout from his boat with his fishing buddies and camping with family members. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Tom had a wide circle of friends who greatly appreciated his keen sense of humor and his legal counsel.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marianne, a retired psychiatric nurse and Director of Outpatient Services; their three children Lisa (Jeff) Jarvis, Thomas (Angelica) Amantea, Jr. and Jason Amantea and grandchildren Christopher, Sophie, Samantha and Michael. He is also survived by two siblings, Richard (Lisa) Amantea and Angela Ferrando and many nieces and nephews. Burial with military honors will be at Miramar National Cemetery on Monday, Dec. 16 at 1:30 PM.


15 December

Funeral Service

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary

3655 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

16 December

Committal Service

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Miramar National Cemetery

5795 Nobel Dr.
San Diego, CA 92122

Memories and condolences

Bring comfort and tell the story of your loved one’s lifetime. Leave a memory, tell a favorite story or share a kind word or condolence.

receive updates

when friends and family add new memories


for sharing memories and condolences