Paul Bonham, a 48 year resident of Redondo Beach, passed away on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 in Torrance. Born in Los Angeles, CA, Paul was 90 when he died. Paul was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attending the Redondo First Ward in Torrance Stake. He designed and built the house he lived in Redondo Beach and was a master carpenter as well as a renowned aircraft engineer and manager for Northrop Aircraft for 35 years. He started his career at Northrop in the blueprint room, but learned quickly and was soon a lead engineer. His many accomplishments included working with Jack Northrop on the Flying Wing, the design of which was destined to evolve into the B2 Stealth Bomber. He also lead design groups for many aircraft essential to the government during WWII and collaborated with Boeing on the 747 commercial aircraft, heading up design for a large portion of the fuselage. Paul realized his dream of becoming a pilot in 1947 and took his family and friends for many flights in a small aircraft he co-owned with a friend before deciding the risk was too great for his young family. He enjoyed making and flying radio-controlled model airplanes. He also had a woodworking shop in his basement where he spent hours building furniture and wooden toys for his grandchildren. At the age of 80, he became proficient at the Mac computer and enjoyed scanning and printing pictures and conversing with family via Email, even after suffering a stroke in 1999, which took his ability to speak. Paul was married to his beloved Reta for nearly 49 years when she passed away in 1987. To the end, he remained a faithful father, grandfather and member of his Church, beloved by his family and friends. He is survived by his son, Bob Bonham, and daughter-in-law Mary of Highland, UT, his daughter, Susan Wyatt, and son-in-law Theron of Whittier, CA, daughter-in-law Chris Bonham, 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his parents, Hermon Isaac and Anna Bonham, wife Reta, son Richard, who died as a child, and son Gary Bonham, who passed away in 2003. A memorial service will be held at the LDS Church at 22605 Kent Ave, Torrance, on Monday, December 26, 2005 at 1:00 P.M. A graveside service will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 at 11:00 A.M

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  1. Many years ago I worked with and then for Paul at Northrop on the 747. He was a fine man and I not only enjoyed working with/for him I enjoyed knowing him. He did his work well while on earth. I’m sure God is pleased. God Bless each of you.

  2. Sad to hear of his passing. His amazing smile will be missed on our block! Peace in your journey homeward Paul. Love, Ron&Joan

  3. A true gentleman that I feel priviledged to have known. Pauul had a gentle spirit I’ve not seen in many people. Our condolences to the family.

  4. I am Reta’s brother. I have known Paul since he became engaged to Reta in the 1930s. He was a wonderful person. He gave me my first ride in an airplaine and was always good to be with.

  5. It was sad to learn of Paul’s death. I recall that Paul accompanied the group from our club (the Northrop Grumman Retirement Club) back in the mid 1990s, on a trip to Branson, Missouri. My husband and I enjoyed his company and had dinner with him several times during the trip. I noted from a copy of the Northrop 30 Year Book that Paul began his career at Northrop on November 16, 1939. Since the company was incorporated in early 1939, I am speculating that, at his death, Paul was the longest living employee from the corporation’s founding years. Are you able to verify this information? I am the editor of the Northrop Grumman Retirement Club Newsletter and I would like to do a little writeup on Paul and his career at Northrop. Did he ever share any anecdotal stories with you about Jack Northrop, or his work on the Flying Wing. My deadline for our February issue will be January 13th. If you can get something brief to me by then I would appreciate it.

  6. I am Paul’s Granddaughter and Bob Bonham’s daughter. My Grandpa was good hearted all his life and loved his family more than anything else in the world. I am so thankful that he is with my Grandma, Uncles, and many others now. He has left a real legacy behind and I must say the best family ever! ; ) I love him and miss him, yet I am comforted in knowing that I will see him again some day.

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