Captain Ernest Richard Nordtvedt, 90, of Santa Barbara, California, passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at his home, surrounded by family. He was an accomplished U.S. Navy aviator for 28 years and a college professor later in life.
Ernest Nordtvedt was born on Aug. 28, 1930, in Ferndale to Ebertina and Thomas Nordtvedt. He was the sixth of seven siblings. He graduated in 1948 from Ferndale High School, where he quarterbacked for the football team. On Dec. 24, 1950, he married Barbara Messenger of Ashland, Oregon.
In 1952 Nordtvedt earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Washington College in Bellingham and joined the U.S. Navy. He entered Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, for officer’s training and flight training, and he earned his wings as a Navy pilot in 1955. During his career in naval aviation, he served with three patrol squadrons, flying the Lockheed P-2 Neptune and the Lockheed P-3 Orion anti-submarine warfare aircraft after 1962. Captain Nordtvedt served in patrol squadrons VP-1, based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, from 1955 to 1958; VP-22, based at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii; from 1962 to 1965; and VP-16, based at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, from 1969 to 1971, where he served as commanding officer of the squadron. While on active duty in the Navy, Captain Nordtvedt earned master’s degrees at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, as well as a doctorate in business administration at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
After retiring from the Navy, Captain Nordtvedt became an academic and taught for 15 years on the College of Business Administration faculty at Loyola University in New Orleans, and three years on the College of Business faculty at Christian Brothers University in Memphis. Throughout his life he loved to travel and spend time with his family.
Nordtvedt is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter Lora Nordtvedt Reeve of Hawaii; son Richard Nordtvedt of Texas; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; younger sister Alice; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; older sister Cora; and four older brothers Arthur, Earl, Thomas and Robert.