Robert Anthony “Tony” Mineo, 68, recruited by the CIA for aircraft investigation

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Robert Anthony "Tony" Mineo
Robert Anthony “Tony” Mineo

WILMINGTON — Robert Anthony “Tony” Mineo, 68, died peacefully in his sleep from heart complications Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Tony was the adopted child of Carol Truitt and Jacob Mineo of Oriental, N.C.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Athena Redmond Mineo; and their two children, Gabrielle Mineo Foley and Robert Anthony Mineo II.

Tony graduated from NCSU at the age of 19 with a B.S. in aerospace engineering. In college, he played as the No. 1 seed on the NCSU tennis team, receiving a full athletic scholarship and played first trumpet in the marching band. Tony received accolades including dean’s list, engineering honors, and selection to the NASA design team.

Upon graduation, Tony worked for the U.S. Department of the Navy as a senior engineer for the C130 program and designed the flight/weapons systems for the Harrier aircraft, also serving as a crash investigator during the Vietnam War. During his time with the Navy, Tony acquired a masters of engineering, owned his own marina, and sailed in the 470 Olympic trials. In 1974, he was recruited by the CIA for aircraft investigation.

At age 29, Tony received a full scholarship to pursue a joint law degree at Campbell, Notre Dame and the London School of Economics. Tony was a member of Law Review, and later served as an adjunct professor. He proceeded to become a renowned aviation attorney internationally, acting as a member of the North Carolina and Washington, D.C., bars. Tony was admitted to practice in numerous federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He served on the rules committee for the NTSB Bar Association, and was a member of the Lawyer Pilots Association, the American Institute of Aeronautics, the International Society of Air Safety investigators, the Order of the Engineer, and was named 2002 N.C. Republican of the Year.

In 1989, Tony joined TriboFilm Research Inc., focusing on the development of plasma coatings. He served as vice president of Legal, developing and patenting new technologies.

Tony placed God and family first in his life, attributing every success to his faith. He was a member of Hayes Barton Baptist Church and actively witnessed his beliefs to those he encountered.

A memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Hayes Barton Baptist Church, Raleigh. Mr. Mineo’s body will be laid to rest by the water in Wilmington, N.C.

Memorial gifts in his honor may be directed to the Crossnore School and Children’s Home.