In Memoriam

Alvin Earl Blumberg, Jr.
September 9, 1946 – January 26, 2019

Alvin Earl Blumberg, Jr. died Jan. 26, 2019, in Colorado Springs, Colo., from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a result of chemical exposure while in military service during the Vietnam War.
          He flew out of Clark AFB in the Philippines and later Pope AFB in North Carolina. Al went on to serve as a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours, while concurrently earning his master's in business administration from the University of Utah.
          He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, four Air Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, and four Commendation Medals while flying C-130s during 83 combat missions.
From 1975 through 1978 Al was an assistant director for the Admission Liaison Office at USAFA.           He separated from active duty in 1978 but quickly became the Admission Liaison Officer for Southern Colorado in the Air Force Reserves, eventually becoming the area commander and retiring as a colonel in 1998.
          Meeting with potential cadets and their families was a great source of pride for Al. He served on the USAFA Association of Graduates National Board for two eight-year terms and held numerous executive positions as a dedicated leader of the local Rampart AOG Chapter. Al was the first fundraising chairman for the initial committee focused on constructing Doolittle Hall, home to the AOG.
          Born in Tennessee, Alvin was part of the first class from Chattanooga selected to attend the Academy. He had seen a story in National Geographic as a child and set his sights on becoming a cadet. Al majored in political science and played on the varsity golf team all four years, competing with the likes of Hale Irwin and Johnnie Miller.
          Al had a gregarious personality and a deep love for his family and friends. Al's lifelong love of history allowed him to converse on almost any topic, especially about the Civil War. Living in Colorado Springs, he went on to a successful career as a financial planner, banker and accountant.
          At his time of death, he was a fleet training instructor for United Airlines, where he was able to share his love of flight with fellow "PhDs in flying." Outside of work, Al was committed to giving back, and he was an enthusiastic participant in the Woodmen Valley Sertoma Club for more than four decades.
          His passion for playing golf was only matched by his love of reading. Many wonderful family trips included destinations with challenging golf courses, and quiet places to relax with his favorite books. His most beloved destination was Treasure Cay in the Bahamas, where he and Sue, his wife of 36 years, had begun "practice" retirement trips over the past decade.
          A memorial celebration of Al's life was held Jan. 30, 2019, at the USAFA Memorial Pavilion and he was laid to rest on his beloved Academy grounds. His wife, Sue, daughter Beth, son Jacob and daughter in-law Christina, hosted a reception appropriately held at the Association of Graduates Doolittle Hall. His life was a blessing and a gift. His absence is immense.                                                                                                                      (Written by Jacob Blumberg and Sue Blumberg)

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