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Monday, March 27, 2023

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Obituary: Milton ‘Tom’ Vance, founder of Armstrong Plumbing (1933-2021)


Tom Vance passed away on Jan. 18, 2021. // Image courtesy, Marcelle Flowers

Submitted by family–
Milton (Tom) Thomas Vance passed away peacefully in his home in Citrus Heights, California at the age of 87 years old on Jan. 18, 2021, after battling Parkinson’s disease and kidney cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Tom was born on Feb. 28, 1933 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, the eldest of five children, born to Milton Roy Vance and Ruby Gayle Vance (Thomas). He graduated from Roseburg High in 1951 and served two years as a chaplain’s assistant in the United States Army.

Tom married his wife of 54 years, Marlene Jeannette Thayer on February 21, 1960 and had five children. Upon being widowed, Tom married Shirley Yvonne Blankenship on Oct. 10, 2017.

Tom started Vance Plumbing (now Armstrong Plumbing) in 1959 which has operated successfully for 60+ years and is now owned and managed by his children.

He served countless years in the various bodies of Christ he was affiliated with and mentored and led to salvation many who were downtrodden and disillusioned in their faith. He had an unquenchable zeal for the word of God and lived out his faith by serving and helping others.

Tom was a loving husband, a committed father, a connected grandfather, and a supportive sibling. He enjoyed spending time camping with his children and grandchildren, hunting, fishing, gardening, working on cars, and would rescue anyone for any reason. He was a father to the fatherless and friend to any stranger. He loved God and loved others deeply until the very end of his life.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Marlene Jeanette Vance (Thayer), his father Milton Roy Vance, mother Ruby Gayle Vance (Thomas), sister Lorna Ray Jasper (Vance) and sister Ruby Ann Taylor (Vance).

Tom is survived by his wife Shirley Vance (Blankenship), son Milton Thomas Vance, Jr. (Corlis), son Mitchell Steven Vance (Leslie), daughter Marcelle Annette Flowers (Terry), son Michael Jeffery Vance (Jeannette) and daughter Marianne Janece Harvey (John); eight grandchildren: Milton Thomas Vance III, Kyle Anthony Chattin (Kayliana), Justin Tyler Vance, Kelsey Elizabeth Vance, Cole Mitchell Vance (Maria), Dillon Prescott Flowers (Stephanie) Claire Normandy Vance, Camille Eaton Vance and one great-granddaughter, Amelia Annette Flowers.

*Publisher’s Note: As a free service to family members who have lost a loved one, The Sentinel publishes online obituaries of Citrus Heights residents or former residents at no cost. To submit an obituary, click here.

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