Thomas Michael Blattner, age 77, passed away peacefully on July 10, 2020 in Mazomanie, WI due to pancreatic cancer.
He was born January 1, 1943 in Milwaukee to Sylvia and Edward Blattner. He attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School and Don Boscoe High School. Initially he attended Marquette while working as a draftsman for GE, eventually transferring to UW-Milwaukee where he graduated with a BS in chemistry.
His first job after graduation was as a research chemist for Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. He also worked at Bordon Foods before beginning the favorite chapter of his career: UW-Madison. Tom was hired as academic staff to manage Babcock Hall dairy plant, teach, and do research. For 22 years he proudly taught the farm short course in dairy processing. By retirement in 2008 he had advanced to administration in the food science department and achieved emeritus status. He often said it was the best job he ever had, and he truly valued and appreciated his clever and considerate coworkers.
He was an active member of St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, having served on the picnic committee and parish council, and was a member of the Knight’s of Columbus and the St Vincent de Paul Society. He also volunteered at Sauk Prairie Hospital, St Vincent Food Pantry, and RSVP by bringing people to their appointments. Woodworking, hiking, astronomy, chess, classical and bluegrass music, travel and photography were some of his many interests. He was a commonsense and practical self-taught handyman for his and his children’s homes. He tried to never miss getting together with the Mazomanie ROMEOs or Madison Bike and Bowl.
It was at a party for a departing serviceman in the summer of 1965 that he met Barbara Ann Brill. Immediately they knew this also was chemistry. They were married in January 1969, and commemorated 50 years together in 2019 with a fantastic party of family and friends gathered over a lifetime.
His absolute proudest accomplishment were his children and grandchildren. He was dearly loved and will be terribly missed by Rebecca Ann (Eric) Powers, Zachary, Colby and Isaac; Jennifer Elizabeth (Thomas) Wankerl, Solomon, Scarlett, Haven, Violet, Opal and Hazel; Peter Michael Blattner and Benton; and Kathryn Therese (Benjamin) Seibel, Maxwell, Theresa, Samuel and Nora. He is survived by Margaret (Daniel) Nencka and Richard (Shari) Blattner.
He was preceded in death by siblings Mildred (Sebastian) Bea, James (Lori), John (Cathy), and Charles.
A private service was held July 18, exactly 55 years after first meeting Barbara. Interment at St Francis Xavier columbarium, Cross Plains, WI.
Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy. – proverb