Norman "Tom" Inglis Major, 91

WWII veteran, flight instructor, construction engineer

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Norman "Tom" Inglis Major, 91, of Roscoe, formerly of Mount Prospect and River Forest, died on Feb. 6, 2013 from natural causes at Beloit Memorial Hospital. Born on March 15, 1921, he graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1939 and attended Purdue University where he studied engineering. Following his time at Purdue, he joined the Army Air Force Reserves and was accepted in the War Training Services (WTS) program as a pilot and ultimately flight instructor, where his role included primary training and screening of flight cadets for the military.

Upon completion of two years in the WTS program and two years' active duty stateside, he left the military and engaged in an extended freelance career that included flight instructing, aviation charter, and crop-dusting, where he followed the cotton crop across the South.

In 1957, he changed careers and joined the construction industry as a project engineer and estimator and continued to work as a part-time flight instructor over the next 30 years. During the balance of his career, he worked for a number of general contractors, with projects ranging from roads and other infrastructure to the building of the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton and Water Tower Place in Chicago.

He was a longstanding member of St. John Episcopal Church in Mt. Prospect. One of his favorite hymns was "Amazing Grace" and his favorite scripture was John 3:16.

Tom Inglis Major is survived by his children, Mary Anderson, Rita Major, Catherine (John) Cichon, and John (Glynette) Major; 15 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Bertha "Bea" M. Major, and his son-in-law, Tom Anderson.

A funeral service was held on Feb. 10 at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park. Arrangements were handled by Honquest Family Funeral Home. To share a memory or express condolences, visit

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