When we began design of this new website our departed friend and colleague C. Norman Winningstad had recently died. I felt it would not be proper to take this article down until the public had seen our tribute to Norm, even though this means we will be late acknowledging news about other notable Tek figures as well.
Norm was a regular contributor to our ex-employee email reflector “gateslist” founded and maintained by John Gates to our delight, as it gave all of us the opportunity to converse regularly about “Mother Tek” where most of us created indelible memories, and a lot of friends, in our working years.
Norm was very outspoken, never shy about his opinions, and continued to endear himself to his friends, with his regular comments on gatelist. I am sure he would not have been surprised that some disagreed with him as well.
The story I like best about Norm, and that I heard often, was how he was trained in the Navy on vacuum tubes, and graduated from UC Berkeley with a specialty in vacuum tubes in 1948, the same summer that Bell Labs announced the transistor. (The Bell Labs transistor was announced in the same Electronics Magazine issue that Tek announced the 511 in 1948). Norm would always end the story with “I graduated obsolete”.
I first met Norm during my stint in FE Training in 1969, and in the Field I had taken the first T4002 order in the LA Region, shipping to Edwards AFB, before there were IDD Specialists. By the time the T4002 shipped, Ralph Thomason was the designated specialist and accompanied me to Edwards to visit the customer. Norm is credited with founding what later became IDD at Tektronix., and was featured with this product in the 1970 Tek Calendar.