Photo By Ross A. Benson
By Ross A. Benson
Friends gathered inside Bob Hope Airport’s hanger 41 to remember a friend, brother, father, and Burbank’s Airport Commissioner, Charlie A. Lombardo on Thursday morning. “You can learn a lot about a person at their memorial”, said a friend. Speakers included Burbank City Council Member Gary Bric, fellow commissioner and good friend Don Brown, and Bob Hope Airport Executive Director Dan Feger.
Lombardo’s brother, Mike, spoke for the family and told those who were gathered that when Charlie was a young boy, his mother would take him to a nearby airport and for hours watch planes come and go and that’s where Charlie’s love for aviation might have started.
His brother Mike became a firefighter and has promoted to Chief of The Buffalo Fire Department where on most every trip back east Charlie rode with the fire engines and fire trucks to fires with his brother, so it was fitting that inside the hanger there was a fire department crash rig and a Burbank Fire Truck.
The ceremony included the Invocation by Airport Police Officer Norn Green, words from friends and fellow employee Victor Gill, who is Public Information Officer for the airport and read letters the airport has received from dignitaries from the FCC in Washington to other parts of the world. The closing prayer was led by Burbank’s Police Chaplin, Detective Peter Eirich.
During a recent conversation, Charlie had said that when it was his time he wanted his ashes spread at the airport, and in a special ceremony following the memorial that was attended by hundreds, his ashes were spread over taxiway C (Charlie).
He will be remembered by all as that jovial guy that had a passion for The Bob Hope Airport, life and good spirits, and a love for his Buffalo Bills.