Thomas A. Block, beloved father, grandfather, and friend passed away peacefully at his home in Kittery, Maine surrounded by his family on June 17th, 2021, at the age of 84. Tom was born to Adolph and Bernice Block of St Paul, Minnesota on November 3rd, 1936. Tom is survived by his wife, Deanna; his three children - Jennifer (Brian) Layton, Susan (David) Lahme, and Michael (Alix) Block; his eight grandchildren - Anthony, Andrew, Lauren, Ethan, Nolan, Chloe, Jacob, and Lily; as well as his four sisters - Pat Kramer, Toni Welliver, Judy Karlen, and Betsy Judkins.
After high school, Tom attended St. Johns University in Collegeville, MN. He left after a year and began working for the local telephone company. His best friend, Roger Heinisch, asked if he’d like to join him to see if they were qualified to join the Air Force. He agreed and the rest was history.
His first assignment after pilot training was Pease AFB NH, flying B-47 Bombers. It was providential he was assigned to Pease because in 1962 Tom met his beautiful wife of 58 years, Deanna Rae Jellison, from Kittery, Maine. They were married at the Pease AFB chapel in 1963.
“I love Deanna more now than I ever have and have been so fortunate to have her to take care of me!”
Throughout his storied Air Force career, Tom was privileged to have flown some of the greatest airplanes of his generation, including the B-58 Hustler (a Mach-2 strategic bomber), as well as the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Tom finished his education graduating from the University of Nebraska. Tom earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and multiple Air Medals while flying the U-2 during the Vietnam War. Anyone who ever had the chance to meet Tom, surely heard a story or two of his flying exploits.
After his Air Force retirement, Tom, the ever dutiful son, returned to St. Paul at the behest of his parents to assist in running the family business, E.M. Lohmann. After the loss of his father, Tom found his way back to the cockpit, flying for Bar Harbor Airlines and Continental Express.
Tom wanted to wish a special thanks to Doctor Henry Sonneborn and the whole staff at the Seacoast Cancer Center at the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, as well as Michael Bracken and the team from York Hospital Hospice.
“They kept me going for the last five years!”
In lieu of flowers or gifts, Tom requested donations be made to the Travis Mills Foundation which supports post 9/11 veterans and their families through long-term programs that help these heroic men and women overcome physical obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Services will be held privately. A celebration of Tom’s life for family and friends will be held at a later date.
In his own words -- “This is your pilot speaking. Fasten your seatbelts we’re coming in for a landing…Over & Out!”