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Col. Thomas E. Bullock

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Col. Thomas E. Bullock Obituary
Col. Thomas E. Bullock 1912 - 2013 Resident of Hayward Pop departed for destinations unknown at 12:45am on Nov. 3, 2013 in Hayward, just 15 days before his 101st birthday. Pop was something else, as his father - also Tom - had been before him. Pop came from a working class Oakland family with four sisters. His father was a self-employed portrait photographer and amateur vaudevillian with a wacky sense of humor. Pop wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. At 17 he got an appointment to West Point, a good engineering school. Unfortunately, it was on the eve of the Great Depression. So, Pop stayed home to help support the family, and also joined the California National Guard (artillery) when the cannon were still pulled by horses. He served with the Guard for many years, retiring as a Colonel. He branch managed for the Bank of America for more than three decades, and among many other activities, served as a Lt. Gov. of the Kiwanis Club and co-founder in 1948 of the theater group Chanticleers, which is still thriving today. A good singer, actor and director himself, he was also a talented carpenter, mechanic and woodworker, and a great storyteller. He crafted his own stereo setups, an electric organ, a grandfather clock, and lots more. He managed all his own affairs to the end, and as a loan officer helped a lot of people along the way. Among his many projects, he put together the financing for the Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland. He did nine miles per day on his exercise bike this past 30 years and danced a hula on his 100th birthday. He was also the only 100 year old we've ever known who could still get in and out of a low slung sports car without help. Pop was married for 61 years to his life partner Carolyn, who pre-deceased him in 2000. Immediate family he leaves behind includes daughter Karen Huffman and husband John, son Tom, wife Nan and former wife Jessie, grandchildren Torbin Bullock, Aaron Huffman and wife Tara, Garrett Huffman and wife Carolyn, Sabrina Michaelis and husband Casey, great grandchildren Jack, Colby, and Lia Michaelis and Austin Huffman. Also, a large and diverse extended family which will miss him (you know who you are!). Pop was at the same time a witty and tough guy, with just enough wackiness to keep the Bullock mystique going. For all his contrariness his heart was in the right place, he was a good provider for us all, he always looked forward and planned ahead, he helped a lot of people, and he was a fighter to the end. Not a bad life-score...and he will be missed. "Facta non Verba" (Deeds, not Words), was his old National Guard artillery motto...and he really lived it. S'long, Pop. You did fine.
Published in Inside Bay Area on Nov. 17, 2013
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