Alexander Rozum, Sr., R.I.P.

Reprinted from Laurie Lewis’ Newsletter by permission

Image634695759357760000“I am very sad to have to report the death of Tom's wonderful father, Al Rozum. He died on March 18 at the age of 86, after a long struggle with cancer. He was smart, funny, good-natured, helpful, handsome, generous, and loving-- a person who made a real and positive difference in the world.

Al was the seventh of eight kids born to Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants in rural Connecticut. As a teenager, he played fiddle at local barn dances. He dropped out of school after 10th grade to start working. When he married Tom's mom, Mary, he bought a house in the next town over, and with his father's help dismantled it, and rebuilt it on the family farm about 100 yards from the house where he was born. He and Mary raised four kids and lived there for 63 years. He fell in love with flying while in the Army Air Force during WWII, when he was a B-24 bomber crew chief. Luckily, the war ended before he saw action. Image634695760252300000

In the 1950's, he got a job as a maintenance man in a large manufacturing company, and retired almost 50 years later as a vice president. He loved all sorts of motorized transportation, and if you had visited his garage at any time you would likely have found it filled and surrounded by a couple of motorcycles, a dump truck, a backhoe or bulldozer, a snowmobile, a bevy of Mustangs, T-Birds, MGA's, and the occasional airplane in varying stages of restoration. He worked hard his whole life, but enjoyed the fruits of his labors (he played hard, too).

Al was always intensely interested in new technology. A few months ago, when we were visiting him in the hospital, he said, "Hey, Tom, I've been reading Consumer Reports. Should I buy the new iPad?" There are so many more stories I could tell. I feel so grateful to have had him in my life.

To read the rest of Laurie’s April 2012 Newsletter “Springtime In California” CLICK HERE


Photo 1: Al Rozum Sr. and Tom

Photo 2: The young "Russian Genius" at work

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