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Melburn Whitcopf
96, of Redlands, California was born on March 3, 1917 in Imlay City, Michigan and passed away on February 8 , 2014 in Redlands, California at his home with his family and caregivers by his side. Melburn Whitcopf was a career employee of Lockheed Aircraft Company. He started working at the Burbank, CA facility in 1939 and remained with the company until his retirement, leaving only to serve in the Navy during WWII. He worked primarily on the production flight line progressing from mechanic into supervision and management. Melburn worked on such notable aircraft such as the P-38 Lightning in WWII, the P-3 Orion during the Cold War and finally the L1011 airliner. He earned the trust of the many Lockheed test pilots, one of whom remarked about the maiden flight of the L1011 prototype, 'If Mel Whitcopf says it's ready, I'll fly it'.
Mel is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Dennis and Lynne Whitcopf of Canton, GA, grandson Dr. Peter J Whitcopf of Selinsgrove. PA, granddaughter Sarah Whitcopf Cannon (Todd) of Atlanta, GA , 4 great-grandchildren: Lucy Whitcopf, Molly Whitcopf, Sophie Cannon and Baxter Cannon, his sister Elma Glenn and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wives M. Irene Gardner Whitcopf and Carol J Schowalter. He will be missed by his family, his many friends and caregivers. A celebration of Mel's life will be held at Cortner Chapel, 221 Brookside Ave, Redlands, CA on Friday, February 14, 2014 from 10am to noon. Burial will follow at Hillside Memorial Park in Redlands.
Published in Redlands Daily Facts on Feb. 13, 2014
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