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David J. Bean

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David J. Bean

Born in Berlin, Wisconsin on January 30, 1925. He died peacefully in Rolling Hills Estates, California on November 1, 2013 at the age of 88. He moved to Boston, MA in 1940, and from there to Hartford, CT. On July 26, 1943, he enlisted in the US Army where his aptitude and a life-long interest in aviation were realized as he began US Army Air Force Flight School. Advanced training on B-25 aircraft was completed at Pampa, TX in 1945 as World War II was coming to an end. Following active duty, he joined Northrop Aircraft Co in Hawthorne, California. He attended Northrop Institute, ultimately attaining degrees in engineering and business. He became active in the Northrop Flying Club. In the early 1950s, he flew F-86 Sabre aircraft as a 2nd Lt. in the California Air National Guard. He also owned and flew several interesting civilian aircraft and continued to do so up until this year. He retired from Northrop after a very successful 38-year career in engineering, planning and proposal writing management. Dave was a great admirer of Jack Northrop and a personal friend. His time working for Northrop was an opportunity to support and enhance his and Jack Northrop's shared corporate philosophy. David Bean's life was extremely full. He had been a pilot since his teens and was a certified instructor for many years. He remained active in countless aviation organizations such as The Vintage Aeroplane Association and the Quiet Birds. He also volunteered as a Reading Buddy and as an Angel Flights pilot. He was a docent for, and a generous donor to the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum in Wilmington, California. He was an excellent writer, having written many articles and non-fiction books on a number of subjects, including aviation, economics, politics and history, especially Civil War history. He wrote The Restoration, which chronicles the recovery and restoration of the last example of Northrop's first production airplane, a Norwegian N3PB seaplane patrol bomber that had been pulled from an Icelandic river and transported to Northrop in Hawthorne. Dave was a major player in this restoration along with many retired and current employees, many of whom had built the N3PBs in 1940. David Bean was a good man in every sense and was dedicated to his family and his many friends. Everyone who knew him loved him. He is survived by Bettie, his loving wife of 51 years, his nephews, Roderick Bean of Garden Grove; Stanley Bean, Jr. of Cypress; George Butters III of York., ME; Peter Beane of Kewaunee, WI; Thomas Beane of Hudson, WI; Ronald Brawders of Simi Valley, CA; William Brawders of Simi Valley, CA; Robert Brawders of Simi Valley, CA; James Brawders of New York, NY and nieces, Nancy Butters of Cary, NC; Judith Singletary of Prairieville, LA, Priscilla Brocket of Sturgeon Bay, WI; Susan Dixon of East Canaan, CT; Miriam Ashley Ross of PFAFF Town, NC and Marilyn Golden of Huntington Beach, CA; Debbie Noll of Rowlett, TX; Stephanie Welch of Crandall, TX and Kim Waldman of Scottsdale, AZ. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Nov. 23, 2013
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