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Donald C. Nordstrom

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Donald C. Nordstrom

Donald C. Nordstrom died on December 28, 2012 at the age of 89 years. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 29, 1923. His parents were Benjamin and Othelia Nordstrom. Don graduated from Edison High School in North East Minneapolis in June, 1941. He attended Dunwoody Industrial Institute in Minneapolis and worked for a short time for North American Aviation of Inglewood, CA on both the B-25 and P-51 programs.

He served in the United States Army for three years during World War II with 18 months in the southwest Pacific Theater, participating in campaigns in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. Following his discharge from the Army in January 1946, he returned to Minneapolis and worked at Despatch Oven Company as a design engineer while attending the University of Minnesota. He married Elaine Peterson of Ham Lake, Minnesota on June 11, 1949. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with an honors degree in Civil Engineering in 1950 and accepted an employment offer from the Boeing Company, working within the Technical Staff on the B-47, B-50, and KC-97 airplane programs. Don transferred to Wichita, Kansas in 1952 for assignment to the B-47 and B-52 programs, returning to Seattle in 1957, following the formation of the Commercial Airplane Group at Renton. He worked on the 707, 720, 727, 737, 747, 757, and 767 airplanes. Don was an Engineering Designated Representative for the Federal Aviation Agency from 1960-1970. He was Chief Engineer of Propulsion Technology from 1970-1983, and retired as Chief Engineer, 757 Technology in March, 1988. He enjoyed consulting with several firms during his retirement.

Don had a consuming interest in education throughout his life and was a member of the Bellevue School Board from 1964-1971, serving as President twice during that period. He also served a board term on the Bellevue City Planning Commission in 1973.

Don enjoyed reading and participating in athletics. He was an avid golfer and often commented that his main claim to fame was a hole-in-one on the 11th hole of the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland in 1980. He had been a member of the Glendale and Tam-O-Shanter Golf Clubs in Bellevue. Don was a member of the neighborhood group that planned and built the Phantom Lake Bath and Tennis Club in Bellevue.

Don and Elaine moved to Naperville, Illinois in 2000. Elaine died there in 2003. In June of 2008, Don married Helen Hixon of Ohio. Don is survived by his wife Helen, his two daughters Nancy Kay Chapdelaine (Albert), of Naperville, Illinois, and Jill Carol Geyen (Rick), of Olympia, Washington, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA.
Published in The Seattle Times from May 2 to May 3, 2013
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