Final Flights: November 2005

 - October 19, 2006, 5:47 AM

Robert Hanson, the last surviving member of the Memphis Belle B-17 bomber crew, died October 1 in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 85. Hanson, the radio operator for the aircraft, and the crew flew 148 hours in the aircraft and dropped more than 60 tons of bombs over Germany and France in World War II. After the war Hanson was a salesman and regional manager for Nalley Fine Foods in Walla Walla, Wash., and worked for a candy company in Spokane, Wash. He is survived by his wife, Irene; one daughter; one son; a brother; a half-sister; and six grandchildren.

Ray Siegfried II, chairman of The Nordam Group and former chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), died October 6 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was 62.

Siegfried’s career with Nordam began in 1969 when he acquired the company out of bankruptcy with eight employees. Under Siegfried’s leadership, Nordam became a leading manufacturer of engine nacelles, thrust reversers, hush kits, cabin interiors and other aviation products, with thousands of employees worldwide.

Despite being confined to a wheelchair and using an Eye Gaze computer when he could no longer speak, Siegfried spent the last years of his life completing succession planning, leadership and governance structure to eventually turn Nordam, now a $500 million company, into a $1 billion company.

In addition to serving as GAMA chairman, Siegfried served as the association’s vice chairman and led the international affairs committee.

Throughout his life Siegfried served on the boards of directors and committees of various colleges and universities and held officer positions on numerous community and civic organizations in Oklahoma.

Siegfried is survived by his wife, Milann; six children, Ray (Tray) III, Hastings, Meredith, Milannie, Terrell and Bailey; and six grandchildren, Hayden, Sydney, Avery, Ray IV, Bob and Josie.