Frances "Bob" Gorman
1921 - 2020
{ "" }
Share
Share Frances's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
08/31/1921 - 01/01/2020 Frances Gaba Gorman (Bob) Passed away peacefully at his home in Palos Verdes January 1, 2020. He said he wanted to make it one more year, and he died just a little over an hour into the new year. He was 98 years old. Born in Long Beach, CA in 1921, Bob grew up in Santa Monica and the South Bay. He was proud that he supported his family from a young age delivering telegrams on his bicycle down Wilshire and occasionally stopping to spend his earnings on a chocolate malted. His inquisitive mind led him to find out how to pull apart a motor and he soon started a car repair shop behind his parents' carriage house before he was old enough to drive. He used this knowledge to move into aircraft engines and then piloting. During WWII he enlisted with the US Army Air Corps and was a head mechanic and pilot in the First American Volunteer Group known as the Flying Tigers. He was on flights getting supplies and personnel over the Burma Hump. After the war he worked with General Chenault and the Civil Air Transport (CAT). The CIA honored him after 50 years of service for his assistance in helping to stop the spread of communism. One mission he was on flew into Tibet carrying barrels of fuel and a jeep. They worked to create an air strip to get the Dali Lama and important Buddhist artifacts out before the Chinese invasion. The Dali Lama ultimately decided to stay with his people. Bob took photos and film footage of His Holiness on the rooftop of the palace. In the states, he received a Master's in Engineering from USC and worked for TRW at Hill Air Force Base. Using his experience on Thor, Atlas and Minuteman, he went to work as a propulsion engineer for The Aerospace Corporation in Riverside and El Segundo until his retirement. He worked with SpaceX to get the Falcon program running. Bob always had a story or a tall tale that ended up being the center of attention and brought out laughs in everyone. He met his wife, Dorothy, when they worked at McDonnell Douglas. They had a close and loving relationship all their lives. They are together now holding hands in the hereafter. Linda, his daughter, lives in Bakersfield with her husband, Lance. His granddaughter, Lisa, has many fond memories of Gramps teaching her to snow ski and ride a bike. Bob is survived by daughter, Linda (Lance) Karber and granddaughter, Lisa Karber. He was preceded in death by his wife of sixty-two years, Dorothy Gorman, brother, William (Bud), and granddaughter, Nicole Karber. The service will be held at the Historic Chapel at Green Hills, 27501 S. Western Ave. Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 on January 17th from 10:00am -11:00am. An optional viewing at the same location will be held from 9:30am-10:00am prior to the service.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Breeze on Jan. 12, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Daily Breeze
Not sure what to say?
7 entries
April 2, 2020
So very sad to learn of Bob's passing. Just found out today. I never met Bob personally, but he was a member of CAT (Civil Air Transport) Association. I had the opportunity to talk with Bob several times by phone and we also corresponded by email. Loved hearing Bob talk about the time he was in Tibet and meeting the Dalai Lama. Sending my personal condolences to Bob's daughter and granddaughter, and also on behalf of CAT Association. www.catassociation.org

Jo Cabaniss
Membership Secretary
CAT Association
Jo Cabaniss
January 24, 2020
The USC Veterans and Military Affairs Committee would like to express our appreciation and respect for Bob and his incredible accomplishments. What a fine Trojan from the Greatest Generation. Thank you, Bob and thank you to the family.
Thomas Anthony
January 12, 2020
So many memories! Wonderful
times in Catalina with Bob and Dottie, dinners out with Bob, Dottie, Jim and I, always Christmas Eve at our house, and after Dottie and Jim left us we still got together for travel shows and dinner! So many stories and good memories! Lynne Reuter
January 12, 2020
Dearest family of Bob and Dottie,I am the daughter of Art and Annette Morse. I know our parents were dear friends over the years as both Bob and Art worked together at Aerospace. We may have even met over the years - certainly your parents' names have a warm space in my heart. Both Art and Annette passed away a few years ago - one month apart. I want to send you my warmest condolences at this time. I'm glad Bob made it to 2020, as he wished. With love and sympathy, Sharon Morse Solomon
January 12, 2020
RIP Bob. Have fun in heaven keeping the angels amused. Glad you are back with Dottie
Karin West
January 12, 2020
I'll never forget Bob showing up at our Christmas Eve parties with stories and lots of laughs. He also brought some sort of software on CD for us.

Bob and Dottie were part of our extended family and will always be missed.
Karin West
January 12, 2020
I was saddened this morning to see in the newspaper that Bob Gorman passed away. Bob was a long time Aerospace Propulsion engineer working Minuteman when I worked with him in the 90s and 2000's. Bob and Dottie were neighbors of mine when I was a teenager and Bob introduced me to The Aerospace Corp. The story I like to tell everyone is that I got my job at Aerospace almost 30 years ago, not because of my PhD, not because I went to Princeton, not because I got good grades, but because I delivered the Daily Breeze newspaper to Bob when I was a paperboy in Lomita at age 13. After no luck finding a job up and down the west coast in 1990 when the Berlin Wall went down and jobs were scarce, Bob said I should apply to the aerospace corporation. Of course my response was, which one? He got me an interview and that was how I came to Aerospace. Rest In Peace Bob, we will miss you.
Jeff Emdee
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences