Thomas Black, 81, boxed in the army

Thomas Black, 81, of Ridgefield, and a longtime resident of Bridgeport, died  at 6:16 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Danbury Healthcare Center, Danbury.

Mr. Black was born in Pelion, S.C., to the late Kate Black and Jimmie Black. Mr. Black, who was also known as “TCB,” came from a large family of some 17 siblings, three surviving at the time of his death.

Mr. Black was educated in South Carolina, and in his early teen years migrated to Bridgeport to live with one of his sisters, the late Annie Mae Viera. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1955, where he won 15 out of 19 bouts as a heavyweight member of the Fort Dix boxing team. Mr. Black was a trained beautician, manager and lead singer of a band. He worked as a longshoreman in Bridgeport, and was an inspector for Avco Lycoming (Textron) before retiring in the late 1980s.

He received an associate’s degree in business administration from Housatonic Community College, where he met his wife, Priscilla (Redd) Black. They were married in 1974, and from this union were born their son, Duane Thomas Black, and their daughter, Cher-Renee Anne Black.

He had many talents, loved to travel, was a member of the Flaming Knights Motorcycle Club of New Haven, and was a landlord, having owned up to four homes, two of them rental homes, his family said. He was a caretaker of his sister, Annie Mae Viera and brother-in-law, Antone Viera, until they died, respectively, in 1996 and 1995, nine months apart.

He was a member of Mt. Aery Baptist Church, Bridgeport, for some 50 years. He was one of many who helped in raising the funds to build the edifice on Frank Street. He was also a member of the men’s ministry choir and its Saturday Bible study group.

Mr. Black was predeceased by his parents, 14 siblings, and several nieces and nephews. He is survived his wife, son, and daughter; his three surviving siblings, Elder J.C. Black of Oklahoma, Magaline Black of Washington, D.C., and Myrtis Black of Bridgeport; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, his church families, and friends throughout Connecticut, South Carolina, and elsewhere.