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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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)