May 2, 1939 ~ July 29, 2007
May 2, 1939 - July 29, 2007
Vance passed away at Torrance Memorial Hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was born in Denver, CO, but moved to California in his early childhood where he lived in Hawthorne and Westchester before moving to Harbor City and Torrance. At the age of 17 he joined the Army serving his country for three years in Germany. The highlight of his military career was returning to N.Y. the same day that Elvis came home; Elvis came by plane; Vance by tramp steamer. He always said those girls were there to see him and the other soldiers. Vance's battle cry was "Where's Elvis".
Shortly after his discharge from the Army he took a job at Flame Cutters in Inglewood, first as a truck driver and then a machinist, a position that sparked his interest in the materials world. After attending classes at various community colleges he received his AA degree in metallurgy from El Camino College, and his BA degree in industrial management from Cal State Dominques Hills. Both of these accomplishments were utilized in a long career of 33+ years of service at The Garrett Corporation which later became AiResearch, AlliedSignal and Honeywell. He started as an entry level technician and retired as manager of the Materials Lab. He relished his life in the aerospace world. In an effort to interest others in the materials world, he taught related classes at Cerritos Community College from 1989-2004.
During the years when his son was growing up he coached all levels of AYSO boys' soccer and served on the Board of Directors for all age groups. He also coached youth baseball and basketball. His life was full with working, night school and youth activities. He also followed professional sports having witnessed Curt Gibson's famous home run, the Angels World Series win, Rod Carew's 3000th hit, the golden goal of the American Ladies World Soccer team when they beat China, the U.S. victory over Columbia at the World Cup in L.A., the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, and the Olympic Games in L.A. and Atlanta.
After retirement he spent many hours researching his family roots. Genealogy activities took him to Texas, Maine, Washington, Washington, D.C., N. Carolina, New Mexico and Colorado, enabling him to document 200 years of his linage. During this time he also restored his 240Z Datsun car to the point he was afraid to drive it as it was so beautiful. In December, 2006, he started to build a Whizzer bike but he was not quite strong enough to completely finish the task. The cancer was taking its toll.
Vance is survived by Marlene, his wife of 44 years whom he met in a poker game on Labor Day, 1961, daughter, Teresa Quinn, Gilbert, AZ, son, Jon Erskine of Oakland, and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother Anna Mae, his father, Arthur, and his two brothers, Dexter and Terry.
A short memorial service will be held at Riverside National Cemetery on August 17 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Torrance Memorial Hospital, Health Care Foundation, Endoscopy Center, 3330 Lomita Blvd., Torrance, 90505.
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