Thomas Arthur Black of Long Beach California, formerly of Cowden, IL passed away at the age of 81 at 12:49 PM Wednesday August 6, 2014 in St. Mary’s Hospital in Longbeach, California with his children by his side.

Tom was born November 7, 1932 near Cowden, IL in Fayette of nine children, the son of Arthur Orlando and Onia Mae Wallace Black.

In 1952, at the age of 19 Tom entered the United States Navy as a radio operator after attending Radioman Class A School in San Diego, CA. He served his country honorably aboard the U.S.S. Bataan. He was awarded the United States Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the National Defense Medal.He transferred to the United States Navy Reserve in 1955 and continued to serve his country as a Department of Defense employee in Seal Beach, CA

Tom and his wife Pat settled in Westminster, CA. where they raised their four children: Penny, Tommy, Robert and Anthony.He was a remarkable grandfather to Courtney, Jordan, Bobby and Elias.He was blessed by the miracle of meeting his great grandson Owen Thomas before his passing.He is also survived by brothers: Leslie and wife Betty of Shelbyville, IL, John Delbert Black and wife Challys of Monticello, IL; sister-in-law Eileen Black of Decatur, IL;sisters: Lillie June Gregg of Hammond, IL, Joanna Petty of Lexington, IL Nadean Gambrel of Clinton, IL and Laverne Edith Kline of Long Beach, CA and several nieces andnephews

Tom was preceded in death by his parents and brother Carney Black.

He was an active member of Church of Christ, American Legion, Elks Lodge and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.He cherished spending time with family, the outdoors, camping and fishing.He was an honorable, hard working property owner who was respected by his tenants. He enjoyed scroll work and especially loved giving them away.He always appreciated a good joke.

A graveside service will be held at 11:30 AM Saturday August 16, 2014 in Oak Grove Cemetery near Cowden.Military rites will be performed by the Shelby County Honor Guard.Visitation will be from 10:30 AM until the time of the service on Saturday in Lockart-Green Funeral Home in Cowden.

On line condolences may be directed to the family at