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Navy veteran enjoyed lifelong love of aviation

| Saturday, April 27, 2013, 11:21 a.m.
Hugh C. 'Dutch' Dorworth, 87, of Cranberry Township, passed away Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at Concordia of Cranberry.

Dutch Dorworth would put himself in the presence of an airplane any chance he got.

Whether it be repairing or restoring a plane or taking to the skies, the Cranberry Township man was fascinated with aviation.

“He used to say it was the closest he could ever get to God,” said Dorworth's son, Gordon L. Dorworth of Dayton, Ohio.

Hugh C. “Dutch” Dorworth, a World War II Navy veteran, died on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. He was 87.

As Mr. Dorworth grew up in Oil City, his father wanted him to be a lawyer.

Instead, he attended Parks Air College in St. Louis, one of the first aviation universities in the nation. Mr. Dorworth earned a commercial pilot and airframe and engine mechanic license.

In the Navy during World War II, Mr. Dorworth worked as an aerographer's mate collecting and analyzing weather-related data and conditions.

He was stationed near Kansas City, where he met his wife, Ola A. Bramlett Dorworth. The pair were married on Jan. 6, 1946.

After the war, Mr. Dorworth worked in jobs in the aviation industry and retired as vice president of Baker Process Equipment Co.

He and three other military veterans totally restored a Navy F4U Corsair that was later flown in air shows.

Flying was a way of life for the family.

“I used to fly with him, and he always had me looking out for other planes,” recalled Gordon Dorworth.

The younger Dorworth got his private pilot's license after retiring in 2010, crossing off the item from his “bucket list.”

“He was kind of with me every step of the way, so that was good,” Gordon Dorworth said.

He had hoped to get his father up in the air again, but the plan never worked out.

Mr. Dorworth was a member of OX5 Aviation Pioneers and Pittsburgh Aero Club, along with numerous aviation, Navy and charitable organizations. His wife passed away Aug. 7, 2003.

Mr. Dorworth is survived by his son and a daughter, Diana G. Dorworth of Harrisville.

Interment will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 1158 Morgan Road, Bridgeville. Memorial donations can be made to OX5 Aviation Pioneers, 500 Regis Ave., P.O. Box 18533, Pittsburgh, PA 15236.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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