Thomas Douglas Pratt

thomas pratt
Thomas D. Pratt died peacefully in the company of his family. Tom was born in Sacramento, California, the son of Newton and Virginia O’Brien Pratt. He is survived by his wife, Claire, sons Kevin and Kelly, and grandchildren Matthew, Aaron, and Sydney. Tom attended primary, middle and high schools in Sacramento. He attended college at the University of California Berkeley where he was also a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. He later attended graduate school at Sacramento State and San Jose State University. Tom enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and served 5+ years during the Korean War. He became a fighter pilot in the Air Defense Command on Cape Cod and one of the first 100 pilots to break the speed of sound. While on Cape Cod, Tom met the love of his life, Claire Tremblay. Tom served in active duty from 1951 through 1956, he served in the USAF Reserve until 1981, and retired as a Lt Colonel. Tom worked in personnel management and labor relations with a consulting firm before joining the City of San Jose as the Chief of Employee Services. He later became the Personnel and Labor Relations Director for the City of Fremont where he finished his career there after 18 years. He was the president of three personnel management organizations where he collaborated with other personnel directors across the state of California. Tom also served on boards of several charity groups in San Jose. After retirement in 1990, Tom and Claire traveled extensively to Europe, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Throughout his long commitment to the Air Force and the USAF Reserve he also was able to travel to foreign locations. Tom and Claire spent a great deal of time on the tennis courts and Tom indulged his love of golf at the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton. They both shared many happy days with Claire’s family in New England, USAF Reunions, and wonderful neighbors with whom they shared many great times and to whom Tom owes many thanks.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Uncle Tom, you were a wonderful husband to Aunt Claire, father to your children, and uncle to all us family members out East. I especially recall the respect you commanded and also the respect you gave to me, my brothers and sister, and especially my mom and dad. As a kid, I listened in to you and my father talk about your “flying days” as fighter pilots. Great stories! I only wish we had been able to meet up more often. Rest in Peace.

  2. Dear Kevin and Kelly,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dear father’s passing. Uncle Tom was such an incredible human being. Always so generous, genuine, such a big heart, loved life and knew how to live it. I know how hard it is to say goodbye. May he now be in a heavenly place filled with joy and bliss and at peace resting in God’s embrace. Know that the Benson family grieve for your loss. We love you all!

  3. Kevin and Kelly,

    We were sorry to hear the news on the passing of Uncle Tom. I hope that you guys are doing well during this difficult time. Please express our sincere condolences to Aunt Claire as well, give her a hug from all of us please. Good memories of Uncle Tom and Aunt Claire visiting the Cape and having fun with Mom and Dad! Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Take care.

  4. To Claire and her family:

    Tom was technically my boss at the City of Fremont, but he definitely became my friend.
    He was a kind and thoughtful person who was always supportive during my run-ins with
    City officialdom. We laughed a lot together and his humor and good natured personality
    was always welcomed. I definitely remember him as one of the “great guys” I’ve met during my journey in life. Rest in peace old buddy.

  5. Condolences to the Pratt family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your whole family. Psalms 147:3 says God, “heals the broken hearted, and binds up their wounds.” May God bring you comfort and peace.

  6. I am so sorry to just learn of Toms death I’m sure his funeral mass was beautiful, have strength Claire

  7. Dear Aunt Claire,
    So sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, he will be be deeply missed by all.
    God Bless You, and keep you well. Love Ann Marie ❤️

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