Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. announced the death of co-founder Bob Irwin on June 26 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. He was 95.
Irwin and his wife Flo helped start Aircraft Spruce, as the Corona, California-based aviation superstore is generally known to the pilot community, in 1965. He also helped launch Fullerton Air Parts in 1955 and ACS Products Co. in 1983.
“For many years Bob prepared the annual Aircraft Spruce catalog by hand, long before the digital resources were available. We are dedicating our 50th anniversary catalog to our co-founder, Bob Irwin,” said a memoriam to Irwin on the Aircraft Spruce website.
According to the company tribute to Irwin, Irwin held a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri. He served as a Link trainer instructor during World War II, and earned a pilot certificate in 1949, going on to log 2,200 hours of flight time over 50 years in a Vultee BT-13, a Navion A model, and a Navion Rangemaster.
Earlier this year AOPA and Aircraft Spruce renewed a three-year-old strategic partnership, as Aircraft Spruce celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Through the partnership, Aircraft Spruce supports safety education, sponsors popular maintenance and general flying sections of AOPA Pilot magazine and AOPA.org, and underwrites the Flight Training magazine Facebook chat.
"Bob will be remembered as one of the pioneers of the aviation supply industry and will be deeply missed by his family and friends," Aircraft Spruce said.