Jack Tobin, formerly of Chadds Ford

Col. John "Jack" Tobin, 88, U.S. Air Force, retired, Opa to his grandsons, died Sept. 27, surrounded by family, in Dunnellon.

Jack's mother and father, Gertrude and George Tobin, raised him in New York City. Despite an eye for mischief, Jack was named altar boy of the year at St. Patrick's, earning himself an appearance on Babe Ruth's radio show.

He attended Fordham Prep and Columbia College before joining the U.S. Air Force, where he spent more than 30 years flying aircraft, including combat tours in Korea and Vietnam. The Air Force awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross on four occasions.

He met a beautiful and feisty young Dutch woman, Mariette, his future bride, in Mallorca. Jack and Mariette raised their son, Timothy, and daughter, Kirsti, on and off bases in Norway, Spain, South Dakota and California. Upon Jack's retirement from the military in 1981, the Tobin family moved to Chadds Ford, Pa., and Jack managed the Flight Safety International Learning Center in Wilmington, Del.

Jack is survived by Mariette, whose side he never left when she was ill, and who never left his. He is also survived by, Tim Tobin (Lori), Kirsti Ryan (John), their families and many friends.

He was predeceased by his dear sister and brother-in-law, Marie and John Carroll, his dear nephew, John David Carroll, and his friend, Pumpernickel, last among the German short-haired pointers that were always close at hand. He loved to paint until his eyes failed him. He was stern with but loved his grandsons Michael, Christopher, Jack and Nicholas, who share his courage and humor.

A burial and memorial service will be planned at a later date to occur at Arlington National Cemetery per Jack's wishes. The family would appreciate it if any donations would be directed to the American Heart Association in lieu of flowers.


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