Lt. Col. Norbert Edward MoranAugust 5, 1932 ~ March 21, 2017 (age 84)
LT. Col. Norbert Edward Moran
Salem: Lt. Col. Norbert Edward Moran USAF (RET) 84, passed away March 21, 2017, after a prolonged battle with cancer, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He was born August 5, 1932 in Youngstown, Ohio, son of the late Norbert and Rebecca Moran. Norbert was a 1950 graduate of Ursuline High School and a member of St. Dominic’s Church prior to moving to Salem, Ohio, where he was a member of St. Paul’s Church.
Norbert enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 before being accepted to Officer Candidate School. He was then selected to the Aviation Cadet School where he completed initial pilot training in the T-6 Texan. He progressed to jet pilot school, flying the T-33. His first assignment was in the Military Air Transport Service, flying aircraft worldwide with types including P-51, B-25, B-26, C-54, C-119 and T-28. He moved on to flying tactical jet bombers and reconnaissance aircraft in the B-57 and B-66. His duties were reconnaissance and leading tactical nuclear strikes on targets in Cold War Europe while on Alert. Norbert had his dreams fulfilled when his squadron in England became the first unit in Europe to receive the F-4 Phantom, a state of the art fighter capable of speeds in excess of twice the speed of sound. He excelled in this assignment and became an instructor in the aircraft type. Service in Vietnam followed, and he was stationed at Udorn, Thailand. His 100 missions took him to North Vietnam and over “Downtown” where air defenses and Mig activity was highest. During his combat tour, Norbert was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross, nine Air Medals, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Combat Medal, after many memorable missions. After Vietnam, Norbert wrote a technical document of such quality for the aircraft that it was accepted by nine countries that were flying the RF-4C Phantom variant. For his last assignment, Norbert was hand picked by the U.S. State Department to instruct the German Air Force in the RF-4E Phantom variant, where he was subsequently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. He received many other awards during his career and was recognized as an authority on the aircraft and it’s role in combat. Norbert worked in various fields after retirement but eventually went back to flying. He became Chief Flight Instructor at Am Air flight school at the Youngstown Municipal Airport as well as becoming an FAA Examiner for Northeast Ohio.
He enjoyed music and played the trumpet, guitar, organ and bagpipes for two area bands. He played at many funerals, parades and various memorial services over the years. He enjoyed fishing, football, target shooting, electronic gadgets, photography and most of all aviation. Norbert was a humble man who volunteered his time for his churches and enjoyed helping those less fortunate.
He will be missed greatly by his six children, who walked with him through his illness, Mike (Kathy) Moran of Phoenix Arizona; Ron Moran of Youngstown Ohio; Becky (Dave) Darbey of Howland Ohio; Ed (Agnes) Moran of Dalton, Ohio; Kat (Paul Eddie) Moran of Camas Washington; and Joe (Stefanie) Moran of Youngstown, Ohio, along with former wife, Dorothy Rainier of Salem, Ohio. He is survived by eight grandchildren, Mike Hopkins, Caty Carmendy, Chuck Balog, Jered Moran, Trevor Moran, Elizabeth Moran, Isabelle Moran, and Liam Johnson; one great grandchild, yet to be born, Kennedy Balog; brothers, Fred (Lucy) Moran and Ron (Donna) Moran, sister Eileen Cook, and their families. He leaves a wife, Cynthia Moran, and step-daughters Kristen (Nick) Vivo and Andrea (Chris) Lewis, and step-grandchildren, Raymond, Nicholas, and Victor Vivo, and Emma and Andrew Lewis. Friends, veterans, parishioners, and classmates will cherish his memories as well.
He was preceded in death by sisters Donna O’Brien and Pat Thompson, nephew Norbie Lee Thompson, and granddaughters Emily and Faith Moran.
His children would like to express their deep gratitude to the nurses, staff and caregivers at Brookdale Senior Living Solutions of Salem and Hospice of the Valley, who went above and beyond their role as an assisted living facility to ensure Norbert’s final days were filled with kindness, dignity, and expert care and who demonstrated a kindness of heart to the family members who stayed by Norbert’s side in his final weeks and days. They would also like to express their gratitude to Salem Regional Medical Center, University Hospital in Cleveland, and Essex of Salem.
Family and friends may call on Friday, March 24th from 5 to 7 p.m. at Thompson-Filicky Funeral Home 4221 Market in Boardman and on Monday, March 27th from 10 to 10:45 am at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Salem, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow. Full military honors by an active duty Air Force Honor Guard to follow at the church.
Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Boardman.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that material tributes take the form of contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN. 38105-9959 in memory of Norbert.
Please visit www.thompsonfh1932.com to send condolences to the family.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105