Norman Willet; Retired FAA Engineer

Norman Willet, a retired aeronautical engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration, has died in Northridge. He was 79.

A longtime Granada Hills resident, Willet died Sunday of cancer, said his son Ken Willet.

A native of Bardstown, Ky., Willet earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Detroit, where he was honored for his unique design of a glider as a thesis project. He came to California in 1940 and worked at Lockheed Corp. in Burbank for six years. In 1947, he was hired by the FAA and worked there until his retirement in 1981, at age 70.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Joan Willet; sons, Ken Willet of Santa Clarita, Dave Willet of Camarillo and Steve Willet of Northridge; brothers, Bill Willet of Louisville, Ky.; Charlie Willet, Bob Willet, Thompson Willet and Paul Willet, all of Bardstown; sisters, Patricia Jemley and Mary Catherine Willet of Bardstown; and six grandchildren.

A Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at St. John Baptist de la Salle Catholic Church, 16545 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills. Burial will follow at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills. Utter McKinley Mortuary in Mission Hills is handling the arrangements. Donations can be made in Willet's name to the American Cancer Society, San Fernando Valley unit.

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