Thomas Kenn Hall

October 28, 1939 ~ May 10, 2022 (age 82)


Thomas Kenn Hall, 82, of Boise, Idaho and formerly of Morgan Hill, California died Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at home surrounded by family after a relatively short battle with ALS.

He was born October 28, 1939, in Ephraim, Utah, the oldest son of Kenneth and Eva Hall. He graduated from Provo High School in 1957.

In 1957 Tom met Karla Rees at a private BYU Halloween party, and later took her for a ride in his 1932 Ford that he had rebuilt and customized. He lied about his age and had just graduated from high school, so Karla didn’t know he was a younger man. In the Spring, despite having broken his leg skiing that day, he took her to a dance before going to the doctor. Later when they were at the “submarine races,” she confronted him about taking someone else to a dance and found out about his real age. That’s when Karla found that Tom enjoyed a tall tale and had a sense of humor he inherited from his father, Ken.

Tom and Karla were married on June 17, 1959, in Provo, Utah. Tom was only 19 and his dad, Ken, had to sign for him to get married because he was under the legal age of consent. Ken joked that he wouldn’t be signing if he didn’t have to. Ken was referring to Tom making him sign, and Karla insisted that he shouldn’t be teasing his soon to be daughter-in-law. However, that story resurfaced in 2000 when Tom and Karla’s youngest son, Ken, got married on their 41st wedding anniversary and their oldest son, Kevin, sarcastically joked that he was only 42.

Tom joined the Air Force in the Fall of 1959 and Tom and Karla moved to Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois. Their first apartment had linoleum over a dirt floor and was smaller than a standard motel room. Tom quickly became an Air Force instructor and taught other airmen about the guidance systems for the nation’s first guided missiles. Throughout his Air Force career, he took every course available to him and he left the Air Force with 11 certifications. While in the Air Force, Tom and Karla welcomed their oldest son, Kevin in 1961. To make ends meet, Tom worked evenings at a Dairy Queen. He spent just over four years in the Air Force before receiving an honorable medical discharge and they returned to Utah where he worked for a company that was revolutionizing high speed photography designed to capture atomic bomb explosions.

While in Utah, he saw an ad in the paper that IBM was coming to town to interview. Tom took the opportunity, and he was hired. Both manufacturing and development wanted him, and IBM said he was the first person who had been wanted by two departments. Tom and Karla moved to San Jose in 1965 and Tom started his 25-year career with IBM, which he joked stood for “I’ve Been Moved.” Tom and Karla moved to Boca Raton, Florida in 1968 and they added Ken to the family that same year, via a stop in Boise. In Florida Tom enjoyed scuba diving and continuing to fly glider planes, a passion he picked up in San Jose. Tom taught Cuban refugees in Florida as a volunteer, to help them assimilate into the US. In 1972, the family moved to Chicago, at which time Tom moved to the sales side of IBM and became one their top salesmen.

In 1977, the family moved back to California, just south of San Jose, to Morgan Hill. The family’ home was on a lake, where Tom often sailed his Hobie Cat. Tom went back into engineering and started traveling the world. He had opportunities to travel to Germany, Brazil, France, England, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and more. Often, he would bring home wonderful jewelry for his bride from these locations. One day Tom came home and told the family that he’d put in transfer request for a project in Havant, England. In 1979, Tom, Karla, and Ken moved to England. They spent almost a year in England. Kevin had recently graduated high school and spent the summer there, before returning to the States. When not working, they traveled all over Europe in their VW camper van. They told stories for years of family who visited and traveled with them throughout United Kingdom and Europe. The English part of the project finished up early, and his project team moved onto Arizona, but all along Tom had planned, and pulled strings, to move back to Morgan Hill instead.

Kevin, in the meantime, was attending college, where he met his first wife and had two children, Tom and Karla’s first grandchildren: Joshua Hall in 1981, and Janae Hall in 1983.

In 1990 Tom took an early retirement from IBM at the age of 52. Upon retirement from IBM, Tom’s accomplishments were many. He was one of only three non-PHD employees to reach the highest technical level of Senior Engineer, inventing Delphi (a disk failure detection system). He held 9 patents and had many technical manuals to his name. He didn’t stay retired long, starting the next Monday at Sequel. Sequel soon sent him to Australia to fix a custom computer no one else could fix -- it took Tom about 15 minutes. That started a series of trips to Australia that created some of Tom and Karla’s best long-time friendships. Tom and Karla visited Australia on several occasions staying for months at a time. Friends from Australia have also visited Tom and Karla on many occasions back in the states creating some wonderful memories of touring the states with friends.

Tom retired again in 1993. He then did some part-time consulting for one of his friend’s companies in Australia. Soon after that, Hoya made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Hoya was a Japanese glass manufacturing company. This turned out to be Tom’s final job, from 1994 to 1998, where he was Hoya’s Vice President of Marketing in their disk substrate division. During this time, he traveled to Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan on several more occasions.

In 2002 Tom and Karla decided to buy a home in Karla’s hometown of Boise, Idaho, where both of their sons and wives now lived. Kevin married Sandy in 1990 and they relocated to Boise in 2000. Tom and Karla bought a home around the corner from Ken and Dawn in hopes of having more grandchildren. In 2005, they got their wish and Kendall was born. Jamie followed in 2009. Tom and Karla were very active in their lives. Tom rarely missed one of Kendall’s soccer games and he drove Jamie to ice skating nearly every day for years, where he made friends with the other skate moms.

During these retirement years, Tom also spent a lot of time fishing with his neighbors, golfing, gardening, riding motorcycles, fixing up his Model T, and spending time with family. Tom skied until he was 78 and taught his granddaughters to ski. One of his best memories of the past years was a 4-day 1200-mile motorcycle trip to Glacier National Park, via roads less traveled, with his sons where they nearly got body cavity searched at the Canadian border by the US Border Patrol. Tom could fix just about anything and was the whole family’s on-call handy man. Tom was always a car-guy, and he got his first of many Porsches on his return to the states from England. In his later years, Tom enjoyed telling stories and fixing cars with his buddies at the Federal Way storage condos that they turned into upscale man caves complete with lofts, which included pool tables, big screen TVs, and pin ball machines. Tom spent many days at the storage condo hanging out with this group of friends.

Tom is survived by his wife of 62 years, Karla Hall; his brother Jon (Judy) Hall of St. George, UT; his sister Karma Collins of American Fork, UT; His sons Kevin (Sandy) Hall and Ken (Dawn) Hall of Boise and 4 grandchildren including Joshua Hall of California, Janae Hall of Bali, and Kendall and Jamie Hall of Boise. He was preceded in death by his parents Ken and Eva Hall and a baby sister Sue Lynn Hall.

Funeral services will be held Monday, May 23, with a visitation at 10:00 a.m. and services at 11:00 a.m. in the Boise First Ward Chapel, 2290 E. Warm Springs Ave, Boise. An Open House (public visitation) will be held Monday, May 23, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah St., Boise. Burial will follow on Tuesday, May 24, at 10:00 a.m. at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, 10100 N. Horseshoe Bend Road, Boise.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to either the ALS Association – Evergreen Chapter, the Idaho Human Society, or a charity of your choice in Thomas Kenn Hall’s name.

The ALS Association Evergreen Chapter ( -

Donate - Idaho Humane Society -

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

Recording of Service


May 23, 2022

10:00 AM to 10:50 AM
Warm Springs LDS Chapel
2290 Warm Springs Ave.
Boise, ID

May 23, 2022

11:00 AM
Warm Springs LDS Chapel
2290 Warm Springs Ave.
Boise, ID

Open House
May 23, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Relyea Funeral Chapel
318 North Latah St
Boise, ID 83706


Idaho State Veterans Cemetery
10100 N. Horseshoe Bend Rd.
Boise, ID 83714

© 2022 Relyea Funeral Chapel. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy