Alfred Block (1923-2009) Grew up in Brooklyn and maintained a fondness for the Brooklyn of his childhood throughout his life. After graduating from high school at 16, Al held a variety of odd jobs until, after a brief stint in the Coast Guard Academy, he joined the Navy. He spent the next two years transporting Japanese troops back to Japan, learning Chinese and haunting the alleyways of old Shanghai. Upon returning from the war, Al earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Purdue, and a masters degree from Harvard. He returned briefly to Indiana where he met Anne Trommer. A short time later, she became Anne Block. She was at his side through mostly good times and in all their adventures. Along the way, she presented him with three boys: Alan, Randall and Jonathan. Al and Anne were married for 56 years. They lived in the Bay Area for most of that time. Al was an aerospace engineer, he ran two investment companies, was the CEO of a number of computer companies before they were all the rage, earned a patent for a device that assisted in the drilling of oil and gas wells, and later ran the Bay Area Purchasing Council, a non-profit that sought to put minority suppliers in touch with major Bay Area corporations. Al is survived by his wife Anne of Oakland, his sister Muriel of Florida, and his sons and daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren.
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 19 to Dec. 20, 2009