Bert Torrence 1924 – 2017
A Life for PAN AM on Hawaii and around the World
By Carol Corzine Yarborough “friend for life” of Bert Torrance
1947-1983 with Pan Am
Charlotte Erramouspe Torrance
1946-1949 with Pan Am, fly out of Burbank, CA
Bert Torrance was well known as “BT” to most PanAmers on Hawaii.
He became 93 years old.
Honolulu played a very special role in his life.
In 1970, Bert was named Senior Sales Manager for Hawaii, where Carol Corzine Yarborough had the privilege of working as his secretary. She says “…Working with Bert was the highlight of my 20 years with Pan Am. His hard driving work ethic and wonderful sense of humor were priceless!”
Later, Bert moved to the airport as Pan Am’s Managing Director-Hawaii (where Choy Lewis worked for him).
In the Aloha Clipper of December 5, 2004, Bert paid tribute to his wife,
Charlotte Erramouspe, who had been a Pan Am Customer Service Representative in Los Angeles in 1948.
When Bert and Charlotte were dating, he once told Carol Corzine Yarborough, he used to carry a scrap of paper in his pocket with Charlotte’s last name written on it as he not only couldn’t pronounce it, he couldn’t spell it. That ended when she became Mrs. Torrance.
After they married, they moved to San Francisco where she worked in Pan Am’s Customer Service and then Crew Scheduling until 1952 when Bert was transferred to the City Ticket Office in Tokyo. Little did Charlotte know that this was to be the first of many transfers.
His next transfer was to Bangkok in 1954; then to Saigon in 1957 where they stayed for 2 years.
This was followed by a move to Manila in 1961. Following that, they were off to Singapore where they stayed until 1966. The next transfer was a big shock—to Cleveland until 1969. Then Pan Am decided to send Bert to Saigon to be Technical Adviser to Air Vietnam. No wives were allowed then so Charlotte moved back to Singapore. The Air Vietnam contract ended in 1970 and Bert was sent to Honolulu for 3 years before being transferred back to Los Angeles.
In 1975, Bert accepted a vice-presidential position with Budget Car Rentals in Honolulu. But within a few months, Pan Am pressured him to return to the “family”, offering him the position of Vice President—Northeast at the Worldport at JFK. He remained there until his retirement in 1980.
The Torrances spent several retirement years in Oregon, Lake Tahoe, and Tucson, ultimately putting down roots on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, California.
Carol continues „…Two years ago when I was visiting the Torrances, Bert took me into his office and gave me all the Pan Am correspondence and memorabilia he had saved over the years. He said, “No one would want this stuff but you!” That
was Bert….a real treasure…He will be missed by all who knew him.“
Warm Thanks to Carol Corzine Yarborough…friend for life.