Peter E. Tortolini

June 18, 1946 - March 28, 2023

06/18/1946 - 03/28/2023

Past Services

Thursday April 13, 2023
11:00 am
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Southside Chapel
5033 Rouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 422-4000 | Directions

Peter E. Tortolini 76 of Virginia Beach passed away on March 28, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Throughout his lengthy and debilitating illness, Pete maintained a positive, hopeful attitude reflective of the way he had always lived his life. His many friends and acquaintances speak of all the exemplary qualities Pete possessed, including compassion, integrity, work ethic, thoughtfulness, generosity, and, above all, a real zest for life. He will always be remembered as a great guy who could be counted on by everyone.

Considered a “voice of reason”, Pete was sought out by family and friends to support them in resolving issues and gaining a different perspective on various relationship challenges. Pete never held grudges, and he was quick to forgive. He would tell anyone that all his positive qualities were developed and nurtured through his many years of Landmark Education. Recognizing the positive influence this program had on his own life, Pete was always eager to enroll others. He really believed that transforming the quality of one’s life is attained through the understanding and natural application of basic principles, and he embraced these in his work and personal relationships.

Pete grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts and graduated in 1964 from Lynn English High school where he played on the football team. He received his undergraduate degree from UMASS Lowell in 1968, and secured his masters degree while in the Navy. Pete joined the United States Navy in 1968 and attended officer candidate school and flight training. He became a radar intercept officer for the F-4 and was attached to squadron VF 31 at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. His deployment to Vietnam aboard the USS Saratoga was filled with some of the most intense air battles of that war. Pete received a medal for heroic participation in those air battles. After ten years of service, Pete left the Navy to pursue other interests but remained in the reserves where he served as a bombardier navigator for the A-6, among other interesting assignments. He retired from the reserves as a Commander.

Following Pete’s departure from active duty, he tried his hand at several business ventures, including a restaurant and the Ace of Clubs Racquetball Club (presently the YMCA) in Chesapeake. He also worked as a salesperson for Phillips Mercedes-Benz, selling his car of choice before moving on to a commercial sales position at Cox Communication. He spent over twenty years in that job, and enjoyed working with so many outstanding colleagues. He remained there until his illness and was eager to return. He was admired and respected by coworkers and clients for his work ethic and integrity and is missed by all.

Aside from Landmark, Pete enjoyed many other interests. He loved working on his antique diesel Mercedes cars with hundreds of thousands of miles, driving his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and taking care of his beloved wild birds.

Pete played racquetball for years (nearly every day) and won numerous tournaments in various age brackets. In recent years, he was part of the MOGUL ski club and was able to enjoy trips to various ski resorts in Montana, Colorado, and Maine. Pete never knew a stranger and made friends wherever he went. The outpouring of love demonstrated through various acts of kindness during his illness is a testament to the respect and devotion felt for him by his family, friends, and colleagues. Pete was a great man and will be missed greatly by many.

Pete is preceded in death by his mother and father, Blanche and Henry Tortolini and his brother Gerald. Left behind to cherish his memory are his son, Brandon Paul Tortolini (Valerie Mann), his grandson , Angelo Paul Enrico Tortolini, his exwife and dear friend, Paula Tortolini, his brother, John Tortolini, a sister, Joyce Pohlmeyer, several nieces and nephews, and many friends.

A celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5033 Rouse Drive, Virginia Beach 23462. A graveside service will be held at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery at a future date. Condolences may be shared with the family at Memorial donations can be made in Pete’s honor by visiting

**Should there be any troubles streaming this service, please know that this service will be uploaded to this page for future viewing,**

Notify of
12 Condolences
Inline Feedbacks
View all condolences
Patti Giancola
7 months ago

Paula and family:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this sad and difficult time. May God Bless you always.

With our heartfelt sympathy,
Patti and Joe Giancola
Pete and Diana Ewell

7 months ago

I apologize the photo would not attach.

7 months ago

I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the entire Tortolini and Spinney families for the loss of my brother Pete. Those of us that knew him realize what a wonderful husband, friend, brother and father he was. His zest for life and positive attitude were contagious and knowing him made us all better people. His memory will live in each of us, I have attached an old picture of us kids and our mom Blanche in happier times. Left to right is myself our brother John, Jerry and Pete on the far right and Mom seated in front.

7 months ago

I had a privilege of working with Pete at Cox for many years. Pete has always been supportive, energetic, and positive. He was truly a great co-worker and friend, and will be missed! My sincere condolences to his family. 

Bruce C Davey
7 months ago

Reading Pete’s obituary above confirms to me that the young, strong, happy RIO that I knew in VF-31 maintained the attitude towards life that made him a solid friend, a worthy shipmate, and a gentleman of the highest order. Our Earth is diminished, but the atmosphere in Heaven is girded further by his arrival.

Randy Keel
7 months ago

Sad to hear of his passing. I had the pleasure of meeting Pete in market America. That alone changed a lot of lives.
It was a pleasure having him on my back deck showing me the plan.
He got to be friends with my whole family, and he will be missed.
See you on the other side, and it was such a pleasure knowing you and your positive attitude,
I’ll never forget your loved diesel.
You had a great ride in life,
And you get so many things.
Thanks for your service in the military.
Randy Keel

Andrew Rankin
8 months ago

I had the privilege of rooming with Pete on the Mogul ski club trip to Whitefish Montana back in 2021. We had a wonderful time and he and I shared our Naval Aviation experiences. May the LORD
bless his family and comfort them in their grief.

Kathy Royall
8 months ago

On behalf of all of us at the VAMC Richmond, VA SCI&D Service please accept our deepest sympathy at the passing of Mr. Tortolini. He will be missed.

Robin Parker
8 months ago

I worked with Pete at Cox for 20 years and will always remember him as a kind, honorable, and considerate man. He brought love & light to those around him, and he will truly be missed. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. May you find peace in the memories and legacy he left behind. He truly was a wonderful man.