Donald Alton Bloom of Mobile, Alabama, died February 28, after a short illness. He was a teacher, actor, writer, a lover of reading and music, and a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and brother.
Don was born in Butte, Montana, to Alton and Miriam Finn Bloom and had one older sister, Carol. The family moved briefly to Oregon, but he grew up primarily in Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, California.
He attended the University of California at Berkeley for a few semesters before joining the staff of the Oakland Tribune. Knowing he would soon be drafted, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, which sent him to journalism school before posting him in the Office of the U.S. Commander in Berlin. He enjoyed Berlin and the opportunity to make brief excursions around Europe.
He spent a year at the University of the Americas in Mexico City. Back home in California and anxious to be part of a wedding in North Carolina, he embarked on perhaps his greatest adventure — hitching coast to coast, which became a source of great stories for decades to come. On the way back, he stopped in Chicago, took a job writing catalog copy at Spiegel, and there met his wife, Nedra, on the very day she gave notice to leave the company.
Don and Nedra were married in 1970. After Chicago, they moved first to Missoula, Montana, where he earned both undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Montana; then to Seattle and Everett, Washington, where he earned a Ph.D. in English and where their son James was born. Next came Arlington, Texas, where he taught adjunct and wrote advertising copy, and then a full-time, if temporary, post at Wabash College, in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Catherine was born during that year in Crawfordsville. The family moved to Elkins and Beverly, West Virginia, where Don taught at Davis & Elkins College, and Peter was born. Moving on to Wilkes University took the family to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
The opportunity to teach at the young Alabama School of Math & Science brought the family to Mobile. Don taught English there for nearly 20 years, enjoying the students and his colleagues immensely.
Don loved the theatre and appeared in numerous shows at Joe Jefferson Playhouse and even more at Chickasaw Civic Theatre. He last appeared as the Governor in Man of La Mancha at CCT in spring of 2022 and was cast in a show when he died.
He was an elder at Providence Presbyterian Church and sang happily in church choirs from Missoula to Mobile.
He is survived by his wife, Nedra; three children, James (Camille) of Tiburon, California, Catherine (Nick Fezie) of Columbia, Maryland, and Peter (Amy) of Oakland, California; grandchildren, Abigail, Amelia, Owen, and Nathan; his sister, Carol McKay of Tucson, Arizona; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider support of Providence Presbyterian Church, Chickasaw Civic Theatre, one of his universities or a charity of your choice.
A celebration of Don’s life is planned at 11AM on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Providence Presbyterian Church, 2320 Schillinger Road South in Mobile. Visitation will begin at 10AM and a reception will follow the service.
Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at www.hughesfh.com. Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.