Thomas Russell Luce

Born: Sat., Oct. 24, 1925
Died: Sat., May 26, 2012


10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Thu., May 31, 2012
Location: Crouch Funeral Home, P.A.

Graveside Service

2:00 PM Thu., May 31, 2012
Location: Lakeview Memorial Park

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Captain Thomas R. Luce, 86 of Perryville, MD, flew west on Saturday, May 26, 2012.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, on October 24, 1925, he was the son of the late Thomas R. Luce, Sr. and the late Charlotte (Thompson) Luce.

Tom graduated from Gerard School for fatherless boys in Philadelphia.  His love for flying started at an early age.  He joined the Aviation Cadet Program to learn to fly.    

In 1943 he transferred to Knox College in Galesburg, IL for aviation classes; later transferring to Santa Ana, CA for pre-flight school.  Upon completion, he was sent to Tulare, CA for primary flight training in Stearman Aircraft and then on to Bakersfield for basic flight training in AT6.  He graduated as a flight officer from Luke Field in Phoenix, AZ.  He attended gunnery school in AJO, CA and then trained in the P51 Mustang.

After the war, he used his GI Bill to obtain his Flight Instructor Certification at the Flying Dutchman Airport in North East Philadelphia.  His first job was in Moorestown, NJ instructing students.  He continued to instruct at Clementon Airport.

He continued his career with Capitol International Airways flying C-46 cargo airplanes.  At Capitol, he then flew charters on Super Connies, DC8s and DC10s, retiring as Captain in 1984.

After retirement, he became a builder of airplanes, building 3 experimental airplanes – a Kit Fox, an Aventura and a Sonic.

He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association-Chapter 240, the Quiet Birdmen and the Covenant Lodge, No. 161 AF & AM.

He was married to Betty Luce (nee Painter) and she preceded him in death in 1990.  He was also preceded in death by his parents, sister: Florence Neimeyer and a grandson: Robert Luce.

Those left to honor and cherish his memory include: his companion: Luan Wood of Perryville, MD; his 2 children:  Robert F. Luce of Florence, NJ and Diane H. Smith (Ernest) of Burlington, NJ; 4 grandchildren: Jeremy Smith, Melody Smith, Shawn Smith (Michelle), Deanna Lewis (Siafa); and 2 great grandchildren.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2012 from 10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon at Crouch Funeral Home, P.A., 127 South Main Street, North East, MD.

Graveside services will be held Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM at Lakeview Memorial Park, Cinnaminson, NJ.

Tom was a wonderful man and enjoyed life.  He will be missed by many.  

Tom, have a safe and happy flight.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Shriner’s Hospitals, PO Box 9695, Baltimore, MD 21237.

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Condolence Booklet

Ty Stover
   Posted Mon May 28, 2012
He was one of the best pilots to fly with. He will be missed by all of us.

Tuula Altman-Sacco
   Posted Mon May 28, 2012
Hi Luan the family, sorry to hear of your loss. Tommy was such a wonderful captain to fly with. He will always be remembered. My deep condolences. Tuula

michele gerard-fabbie
   Posted Mon May 28, 2012
i loved flying with tom and luann. we had such fun. hugs are sent flying to all who loved him and had the crazy pleasure of being on his crew.sincerely, michele

Rita Wyant Herskovits
   Posted Mon May 28, 2012
LuAnn, I hope you can find what you need to get through this difficult time. He will never really be gone....he lives on in so many memories.... of so many people. I feel like he is now on an extended trip, with an ETA TBD. I am confident he is flying peacefully and free. My deepest sympathy, Rita

Sandra Chango
   Posted Tue May 29, 2012
Dear Luann,
My sincere sympathy for the loss of your wonderful companion, Tommy. It is such a hard time but I know you are surrounded by great friends. I, for one, will miss seeing Tom at the Capitol Reunions. Take care of yourself.
Sandra Chango

Debbie & Paul Martin
   Posted Wed May 30, 2012
We are so sorry to hear Tom has passed. We will never forget what a great neighbor he was to us. We regret we didn''t get back to MD to visit, I hope we can make a trip in the near future. We send our thoughts and hugs to you during this difficult time. You have great memories just hang on to them you and Tom are very special people!

Hugh Horning
   Posted Wed May 30, 2012
Dear Co-Pilot Luan and Aircrew Family:

I was surprised to hear from EAA 240 of Tom's "Going West". He was a great aviator and a fine man. I know you will miss him. But take comfort in the knowledge that he is in Paradise with The LOrd, with family and more suffering or pain...only Peace and Joy and Happiness ! And lots of Heavenly hangar flying with his former flying buddies ! And you will be together with again one day.

God Bless,

Hugh Horning

ann suess cobb
   Posted Wed May 30, 2012

May you find peace in knowing Tommy is flying home. I will pray for comfort for you and all who love him.

annie k

McCollisters Transportation, Burlington, NJ
   Posted Thu May 31, 2012
To Diane and her Family.
We are all thinking of you at this sad time. Bless you and your family. And thank you for posting so an amazing obituary of your father.

Jon and Gail Fudge
   Posted Thu May 31, 2012

Remembering many good times shared with you and Tom, including his incredible 80'th birthday party -- he knew how to party! He was also a great aviator and mentor, and will be missed and thought of often...

Much love and friendship,
Jon and Gail

Carmella Tucker-Williams
   Posted Thu May 31, 2012

dianne hammond
   Posted Thu May 31, 2012
Luann--I am so sorry to hear of Tommy's passing. He was always a favorite. I never heard Tommy say a cross word about anyone--he always had a quick smile and a gentle manner. He will be missed but not forgotten. Sincerely Dianne

richard Luce
   Posted Fri June 01, 2012
I am awfully to hear of the passing of Tom. We were at Girard College in the early 1940''s before left Girard. I''ve tried many times to find him over the years but was never successful. I don''t know if we were related but after seeing his picture, it wouldn''t surprise me.
I was questioned by his Grandfarther one time at a Girard holiday concerning our relationship, but I cannot recall the details. I don''t think his grandfarther thouht we were.
I graduated from "The Hum" in june "44 and wentinto the Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet prgram in July of that same year.
If you would take the time I would like to talk to someeone from Tom''s famil. You can reach me by phone a (215) 672 5565 or at
Again I am very sorry for your loss.
Dick Luce

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