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BLANCO THOMAS T. BLANCO Thomas T. Blanco of Olney, Maryland died on December 21, 2012. He was 83 years old. He was born in DePue, Illinois on August 12, 1929 to parents Tomas and Aurora (Garcia). He was one of seven children. Tom graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering and enjoyed a long career in aviation and space/defense-related engineering, including work leading up to the launch of the United States' first manned spacecraft. A popular leader, mentor, and executive, he retired from General Electric in 1981 and, after a short time as an aerospace engineering consultant, retired to enjoy his penchant for furniture making and woodworking in general. His children, grandchildren, great grandson and several friends treasure the many fine pieces of furniture he produced over the years. His artistry with a lathe was unsurpassed. Tom was an all-around athlete enjoying football, basketball, baseball, and golf. He maintained a low golf handicap throughout his life and was the 1967 Club Champion at Cornwells Country Club in Bensalem Pennsylvania. He also possessed special talents in the kitchen and his Spanish entrees and Easter bread were extremely popular. He was at his best when cooking up breakfast. Tom's wit, insights, and sage advice will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He is survived by his loving family which includes Sylvia Tetrault, his wife of 22 years, his children Judy (Paul) Bruening, Maricarol (Steve, Jr.) Cloak, Nancy (Michael) McCann, Michael (Kryston Rhoads), and Jill Blanco (Gregory Grogan). He was quite proud of his seven grandchildren Carl McGuckin, Gregory and Megan Bruening, Ashley and Zachary Blanco, and Natalie and Shane Cloak and one great grandchild Jaxon McGuckin; they will forever cherish their time spent with him. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m., January 4, at the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew, 15300 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Montgomery Hospice, 1355 Piccard Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850 (

Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 28, 2012
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