Obituaries » Frederick Goodrich
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April 30, 1924 - February 18, 2017
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Fred Goodrich, an electrical engineer, instructor and celebrated World War II pilot, died February 18. He was 92.
Born in New York City, New York, on April 30, 1924, Goodrich and his family moved to Mount Vernon the following year. He attended DeWitt ClintonPublic School and A.B. Davis High School before moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he graduated from the Indiana Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering.
Putting his skills to good use, Goodrich enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 29, 1943. He became classified for pilot training at the San Antonio Aviation Classification Center, Texas, and participated in primary training in Fort Stockton (PT-19s), basic training in San Angelo (BT-13s) and advanced training in Lubbock (UC-78s and AT-9s). He graduated from the Central Instructor School for Pilots (CIS) in Randolph Field, where he obtained B-25 training, and completed B-26 transition training in Dodge City, Kansas.
From 1943 to his honorable discharge in December 1946, Goodrich completed 46 combat missions in the Southwest Pacific and was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement.
He experienced an illustrious career as an engineer, starting at Convair in San Diego, California. There, he served as an instrumental engineer, then was promoted to group engineer, developing flight test telemetry for the F-102 Fighter Aircraft development program. The job sent Goodrich to Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico, where he led a contingent of 35 engineers and technicians in the flight test program. Following the completion of the F-102 and F-106 flight tests at Holloman Air Force Base, Goodrich was transferred to Edwards Air Force Base, California, to head the Convair contingent engaged in the Hazardous portion of the Convair 990 certification program.
After Convair, Goodrich became a test conductor of Apollo Spacecraft #8 at North American Aviation in Downey, California, then worked at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City as a flight test engineer in the program that married the Hughes Phoenix Missile to the F-14. Later, he became an international marketing manager for the company, which took him all over the world.
Goodrich formally retired in 1989 after 50 years in the industry, but never stopped working. Believing it was never too late to try something new, Goodrich obtained his teaching credentials, and from 1990-1995, worked as a computer instructor for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) during the day and UCLA Extension in the evenings. Since that time, he served as a full-time substitute teacher in LAUSD.
Goodrich was the perennial go-to computer expert in his family, often making house calls (as far as Santa Barbara!) to help set up computers. He was a technology buff through and through, always poring over manuals and learning the latest in technology to keep himself ahead of the curve. He was often the family photographer, too, reveling in the latest camera models and snapping memories at family events. Owning an iPhone, Goodrich marveled at how fast technology evolved from his early days as a computer instructor and tutor.
In addition to technology, he engaged in sports (the Yankees, in particular), deep sea fishing, Sudoku and telling jokes. He was known to tell jokes to strangers to elicit a hearty laugh. He also enjoyed a mean noodle kugel.
Of his various talents and interests, he was most proud of the love and happiness he shared with his wife of 54 years, Connie Goodrich (née Bletz). He is survived by Connie and his dear family who will cherish his legacy forever.