We mourn the passing of our retired Brother Norman Flowers, who passed on November 12th. He was 79 years old, and had been a member of Local 569 for 59 years. “Norm” was always industrious, even as a teen, for he worked “after school” jobs all through his years at Hoover High School. Shortly after turning 18, he went to work as a “box boy” for Big Bear Market, before learning about being able to work as a “summer helper” for Union contractors. From at least the 50s through the early 70s, these contractors would hire young people as “summer helpers”, who would sweep, pick up trash, or help move items around the shop, just to become familiar with the electrical construction surroundings, mindset, and work ethic. After a summer of being in the environment, these young people would have a very good idea if they liked the construction electrical field, or not.
When Norm completed his ‘summer helper’ stint, he actually took a year off. In the interim, he worked by shelving books for the San Diego Public Library, and then as an installation helper for the longtime San Diego institution, Harrington’s Appliance. He also attended science and math classes at San Diego City College. By late 1958, Norm entered Local 569’s Apprenticeship Training Program, which was then housed at what is now the downtown campus of San Diego Community College. Throughout his apprenticeship, Norm worked for Chula Vista Electric, S.D.G.&E., Federal, and Universal. As an apprentice, he even assisted in wiring a “little” project called Sea World, which began work in 1962.
As a Journeyman, Norm worked for Ets Hokin & Galvan, Commercial, and Siegel, before being hired by Bechtel for a “small” project known as SONGS (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations) in 1965. Norm worked on the very first generating station, known as Unit 1. In the midst of wiring everything from residential to shopping centers to an air field to the VA hospital, Norm took the time to attend the Local 569 sponsored class and become certified as a cable splicer, in 1968. By 1971, he was ‘tapped’ to become a Foreman for S.D.G.&E.’s South Bay plant in Chula Vista. Soon after, Frontier Electric hired Norm as a superintendent. Eventually, he returned to work “with the tools”, and was dispatched to S.D.G.&E. (for the Encina Power Plant in Carlsbad), Associated (branch of Fischbach & Moore), A.W. Myers, and back to Bechtel in early 1976, where he was a foreman, and then general foreman. In 1991, Norm was an estimator for Sorrento Electric. By mid-1992, Norm returned to “the tools” again, and was dispatched to Dynalectric. In Spring 1993, Norm returned to Bechtel one last time, and he would retire from the electrical industry by mid-1993.
Even in “retirement”, to his credit, Norm let no “moss” grow under his feet! With great TLC, he doted on his “babies”, his classic cars. He and one of his “babies” were even featured on an early morning news program a while ago, during a feature on classic cars. Norm also loved classic airplanes, including the biplanes.
Therefore, Norm’s Celebration of Life will begin with a “fly-over” by him (in cremated form), in a 1927 biplane, on Sat., Jan. 6th, at the Cove, where his ashes will be dispersed. His Celebration will continue at his home.