Monday, June 23, 2014

Tom Rathbone, sad news.

Tom and his wife Delta were wonderful members of our EAA Chapter.
They were present at our meetings and we are going to miss them very much.  We regret to inform you of Tom's passing.
Here is a letter from his daughter Jane:

Dear Friends of Tom Rathbone,
It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that we share with you that our father, Tom Rathbone, 86, passed away June 17th.

He passed peacefully and is free of pain. We know that he is in a better place; seeing his dear mother, who passed when he was 9 years old, and his many relatives and friends. He was extraordinary! He was a father to 4 children ("one of each kind", he would say), husband of nearly 64 years, friend, pilot, musician, inventor, dreamer, visionary, comedian, entrepreneur, engineer (just a draftsman, he would say), veteran, and... He would always add "and humble, don't forget humble".

Daddy requested no services at this time. He was cremated and we will keep him at home for the time being. We will have a joint service in Star Valley Wyoming, when our Mom passes. They will both be buried in Afton, Wyoming. Mom is 89 and is not doing well. She misses him already. We do not anticipate that they will be separated too long.

He leaves behind our mother, 2 siblings, 4 children, 18 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and numerous relatives around the country. What a legacy!

Daddy asked for this poem, a pilot’s prayer, to be shared in his memory:


Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-spilt clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

-John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Daddy was a strong supporter of the EAA Young Eagles Program. If you would like to make a donation in his name, you may do so online at:, select Contribute, then, Young Eagles, and in the notes box, please state the donation is in memory of Tom Rathbone.

Best Regards from his children on behalf of our mother, Jane, Tim, Amy and Nancy

No comments:

Post a Comment