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Award-winning aviation graduate, faculty member dies at age 90

Robert L. Norton – an alumnus, retired faculty member and father of a program director in the School of Nursing & Health Sciences – died Friday, March 19, 2021, at the age of 90. He received a certificate from the former Williamsport Technical Institute and an associate degree from Williamsport Area Community College, and was an aviation instructor at WACC and Penn College for 24 years.

Robert L. Norton“Bob was a student-centered instructor who wanted his students to be the best technicians,” said Brett A. Reasner, assistant dean of transportation technologies, one of those former students and a 1999 “Master Teacher” honoree at the college. “He made a positive and lasting impact on his students and their aviation careers.” Walter V. Gower, assistant professor of aviation and another former student, added: “Bob touched many lives through his experiences in aviation, his time in the military and as an instructor at the Williamsport Area Community College and the Pennsylvania College of Technology. After his retirement, he continued to stay connected to the institution though reunions of the Williamsport Technical Institute. He will be missed by many alumni, faculty and friends.”

Norton had a lifetime association as head mechanic at the Sentimental Journey Fly-In at the William T. Piper Memorial Airport in Lock Haven; at the May 2010 event, he was presented with the Federal Aviation Administration’s prestigious Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award for “dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism and many outstanding maintenance contributions to further the cause of aviation safety.”

Among his survivors is daughter Jeanne M. Kerschner, director of the college’s occupational therapy assistant program.

Family and friends will be received at Crouse Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 133 E. Third St., Williamsport, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. A complete obituary, detailing his years of service to the public and the industry, is available at the funeral home’s website.

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