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The Gallery at North Port Resident Continues Lifelong Love of Flying

Tom H. was recently surprised with an airplane trip out of the Suncoast Air Center at Venice Airport, made possible through the Venice Aviation Society.

The community set up the flight for Tom as part of their Miracle Moment program. “He was very excited,” his daughter Fran said about revealing the special surprise that had been arranged for him. Now in his 90s, Tom has been able to relive his passion for flying for the first time in over 30 years. “I love it,” Tom said.

A Career Devoted to Aviation

Tom was born in New York in 1929. He became interested in aviation at a young age and was always fascinated by airplanes according to his family and friends. Tom worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since the 1950s. He also owned two airplanes and started an aviation consulting firm before retiring. “He flew his whole life,” his son Kevin shared.

Tom’s aviation career began after taking flying lessons and getting his pilot’s license. He then worked in local airports by helping fuel, wash and move airplanes. Later, he became an instructor before taking a job with a small, local airline in New York. After some time flying with the airline, Tom went on to work with the FAA in air traffic control.

During the years he worked with the FAA, Tom worked his way up in the organization and also moved with his family to various locations across the country, including Virginia and Hawaii.

Upon retiring from the FAA, Tom created his own aviation consulting firm. This afforded him the opportunity to keep his passion for travel and flying alive.

In addition to being passionate about aviation, Tom is a devoted Catholic and very active in several clubs including AMVETS and the American Legion. The pandemic has kept him from being as involved as he would like to be for the past couple of years, but he still enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences about a life spent in the sky.

When Tom decided to retire from consulting, he and his wife moved to Palm Coast, FL before she died in 2009. About 10 years later, he moved to North Port.

The community of neighbors, friends, and staff at The Gallery at North Port is proud to give Tom one more great story to tell with his Miracle Moment.

 

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