February 12, 1933 ~ July 22, 2019
Norman Birch, an aeronautical engineer and longtime resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, died peacefully in his home on July 22, 2019 at the age of 86.
Norman is survived by his wife, Theresa; his children, Anne and Kevin (Melissa); his grandchildren, Dylan, Ben, Ashley, Owen, and Natalie and his brother, James.
He was born in Wendover, Buckingham, England on February 12, 1933 to Arthur and Ellen Birch. He graduated with a Master of Science degree from the Department of Aeronautics at Cranfield Institute of Technology in 1956. He moved to the United States and settled in the Los Angeles area in 1962. After many years working as an engineer in the aircraft industry and as a lecturer at USC, he started his own aircraft crash investigation business called Independent Technical Services. In 1971, he married Theresa, a librarian at USC.
Norman loved adventure. In his early years, he enjoyed cycling and backpacking about the English countryside with his mates. He was an experienced light aircraft pilot who regularly flew his Piper Comanche to Big Bear, Catalina, and Santa Barbara. He also spent countless hours working on projects in his extensive workshop in his garage. He built a metal pedal car from scratch, and enjoyed watching his young children race it up and down the street with thrilled large smiles on their faces. At age 33, he even built a concrete sailboat that still resides in Long Beach.As an avid reader, he loved to learn. Many family vacations included visits to historical sites, and he wanted to share his passion for learning with his children. He also learned Spanish in his later years which was quite amusing to hear with his English accent; some of his favorite travels were to South America. He and Theresa enjoyed ballroom dancing for many years. Norman kept to his British heritage by adopting two Cardigan Welsh Corgis that became beloved family pets.
He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and all who knew him.
A funeral service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on July 29 at St. John Fisher Church. Monsignor David A. Sork will preside over the service.
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