Donald B Block

22 juin 192414 novembre 2020

Donald Block (Don to all who knew him), 96, passed from a short illness following lingering health issues on Saturday November 14th, 2020.

Don was born in Chicago Illinois in 1924 and lived there until enlisting in the US Army Air Corps in 1943 where he trained for and served as a B-26 pilot in Europe. He returned to the US and met his wife Gloria, with whom he had been a “pen pal” during his active duty in the war. They had been married for over 73 years at the time of his death. Don graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and went to work for Goodyear Aircraft Corporation in Akron, remaining with that company in its various forms until his retirement in 1989 after nearly 42 years of service. He retired as Chief Airship Engineer and was intimately involved in the design of airships in Goodyear’s lighter-than-air program throughout his entire career. His long association with the “Goodyear blimps” was something both he and his family were very proud of.

Don enjoyed many things in his life, always eager to learn about a wide variety of topics. He has been a lifetime member of the MAPS air museum in Green, Ohio…serving as a valued tour guide for many years. In his retirement, he also adopted wood working as a hobby and became quite an accomplished craftsman. But as his family of 4 children grew to 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, his greatest joy was seeing, sharing stories with, and interacting with all of them whenever possible.

He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and various nieces and nephews. He is survived by his wife Gloria of 73 years; his children, Linda Cusack (Chris), Jim Block (Sandy), Pat Grimsley (JR), Amy Schott (Randy); grandchildren, Sean Cusack (Michelle), Andy Cusack, Jeremy Block (Megan), Mike Block (Margaret), Brian Block (Liana), Kyle Adams (Megan), Daniel Adams, Samantha Schott, Ben Schott, Rachel Schott; and 12 great-grandchildren.

At the request of the family, and to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission, a private service limited to family members will be held. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in his honor to the MAPS Air Museum or any charity meaningful to you.


Donald B Block


Jim Block

18 novembre , 2020

Godspeed Uncle Don. My memories of you growing up always included how funny and kind you always were. I'm glad you were able to get so much out of volunteering at your local museum, I loved my time at the National Museum of the USAF when I lived in Dayton. I will be sure to donate to MAPS so others can continue to enjoy history.

The other Jim Block

Jared Haren

17 novembre , 2020

My sympathies to the Block family, he will be missed.
I always admired Don's knowledge and quick wit. He was a inspiration to me and others in our younger years in the airship program. Sharp mind & tremendous recall. He worked with a lot of the historic GZ & GAC airship people, he would tell us how they really were , I thank you Don for that. And for your service in W.W.II

Lori and Larry Schaffner

16 novembre , 2020

Jim and Sandy, we were sorry to see of the passing of Don. He was always quick with a smile and lived a beautiful life. Some of our last conversations with him were about MAPS. He was beyond devoted! Know our thoughts are with you and family. It would’ve been so great to see everyone in person to share our sympathy Someday....♥️

Sharon Jacobs

16 novembre , 2020

I have known Don pretty much my entire life. He was always the neighbor everyone loved to have around. Always willing to help anyone. Always ready with a smile. His kind heart and generous nature will be the basis for the many memories I have of him. I hope that the memories his family have will comfort them during this difficult time.

John Evrard

16 novembre , 2020

I was very saddened by this news of course when my daughter Liana informed me. While I didn't have the opportunity to work directly with Don, we both worked for Goodyear Aerospace together from 1984 to 1989, when Don retired and I transferred to Aircraft Braking Systems. We were on more or less opposite ends of our engineering careers, but we knew a lot of the same people and I always enjoyed that the times we were able to have a conversation. Interestingly enough, Don is one of two B-26 pilots I have had the pleasure of knowing, the other being Charles O'Mahony from Pittsburgh, PA. It's not just a catchy phrase, guys like Don, Charles and my father were truly part of a special generation. I'll miss him, especially his wry, mischievous wit, and I send my deepest condolences to Gloria and her entire, wonderful, loving family. I'm grateful that Liana is part of all of you, and will always be part of Don.

Elaine Vaughan griffith

16 novembre , 2020

Our families spent a lot of fun times together. There is one that sticks out to me. We going to your house for a Fourth of July party. Mom wanted to make a cake that looked like the flag. She wanted it just perfect she spent a lot of time decorating it. She asked me to count the stars to make sure there was 50. She said that your dad would count them to make sure she did it right. Sure enough the first thing he did when he saw the cake was to count the stars. I think he surprised that she got them all on. We all had a good laugh.
We are so sorry about your loss. Your familys one of my favorite families

Dan & Rosanna Montecalvo

16 novembre , 2020

RIP, Sir. Now, guardian angel to all who adore you. Our prayers and condolences go out to all family & friends.