NORMAN WALTER KUSTER (1922 - 2019)

  • "Such a loss of a great man and the best boss ever. I was..."
    - Roberta England
  • "I knew Norm at GO, and learned of his great contributions..."
    - Gary McNeil
Obituary

KUSTER, P. ENG., NORMAN WALTER 1922 ~ 2019 Passed away on October 4, 2019, at the age of 97. He was born in Swift Current, Sask., lived in Thunder Bay, Ont., before settling in Mississauga, Ont. He was predeceased, in 2006, by his beloved and devoted wife of 61 years, Anne. He is survived by his daughter Dr. Janice, her husband, Dr. Bob Keenan, of Tampa, FL, daughter, Joyce (Mike Miller); grandchildren, Melissa (Forrest Thompson), of Los Angeles, CA, Tyler (Anne), of Atlanta, GA, Brad (Melanie) and Derek; brother, Gordon, in Alton, Ont., as well as nieces, nephews and other relatives in Canada and U.S.A. In 1941, Norm graduated from Aero Industries Technical Institute, Los Angeles, with a diploma in Aeronautical Engineering. He then served the Canadian transportation industry in both the private and public sectors for a period of over 47 years. Norm began employment with Hawker Siddeley Canada Ltd. and its predecessors. His first position was as an aircraft draftsman in Thunder Bay, working on Hawker Hurricane fighter planes being produced for the Battle of Britain. At the time, he was privileged to serve under Chief engineer, Miss Elsie McGill, P.Eng., one of Canada's first female engineers. Norm also worked on Helldiver bombers for the U.S. Navy and after World War II, he was chief draftsman for busses and street cars. After receiving his degree from The University of Toronto, Norm was registered as a Professional Mechanical Engineer in 1957. During his tenure in the Passenger Rail Car division, Norm served as Chief Engineer and later as Project Manager. Significant projects in which he played a leading role included: T.T.C. subway cars, the 1967 Montreal Expo Express (the first automatic train in North America), the Port Authority Trans Hudson mass transit cars and the Bay Area Rapid Transit commuter cars. He also supervised the conceptual design and construction for the innovative GO Transit Bi-level Commuter Car. Norm finished his career with GO Transit in Toronto. In 1989, he retired as Director, Equipment Engineering. Norm authored numerous articles and technical papers on transportation vehicles and systems. He also received the Ontario Professional Engineers Award for Engineering Excellence, the Queen's 25th Anniversary Commemorative Medal and the National Transportation Week Award of Achievement. Norm and Anne, his wife and lifetime supportive partner, were very proud of the many accomplishments of their family. As well, they enjoyed travel, sports, golf, photography and music. Private cremation has taken place followed by entombment in the Kuster niche in Oakhaven Mausoleum at Glen Oaks Memorial Gardens, Oakville. In lieu of a ?Festschrift?, please ride a subway train or "Get on the GO" and smile for Norm. Until we meet again. 
Published in the Toronto Star on Oct. 12, 2019
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