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Frances "Bob" Gorman


1921 - 2020
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.
Published in Daily Breeze on Jan. 12, 2020
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