Glen V. Dorflinger ’46
Date posted: September 21, 2011, 11:17 am
Glen V. Dorflinger, of Houston died early Friday morning September 9, 2011 following a sudden brain hemorrhage earlier in the week. He was born June 4, 1924 in Essex Fells, NJ. He would have been the first to say that he led a charmed and fulfilled life. He is survived by his wife Phyllis, the love of his life for 64 years, and by three generations of their family who brought him great pride and joy: his four children: daughter Jill Carr and husband Ken, son Peter and wife Nora, son Geoff, and son Neil and wife Mary; his five grandchildren: Amy Boling and husband Shane, Scott Carr and wife Kim, Wilson Carr, Maddie Dorflinger, and Zach Dorflinger; and three great-grandchildren: Jack and Caroline Carr and Fisher Boling.
In 1943 Glen graduated from The Lawrenceville School with honors and many varsity letters. He then joined the Naval Reserve in the V12 program and was admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be educated as an engineer. At MIT, he played varsity squash and lacrosse, served as a class officer, and graduated in the spring of 1946 with a degree in mechanical engineering and a commission as an Ensign; however, he would say his greatest achievement at MIT was finding Phyllis at Wellesley College in 1943.
Glen began his business career in the late 40’s in NJ with the Worthington Corporation as an industrial air conditioning and sales engineer. He worked briefly in Hatboro, PA before joining Fisher and Porter in Texas in 1951. In 1958 Glen began his entrepreneurial ventures by starting the first of seven engineering sales and manufacturing companies in Houston. Four of these companies are still operating today under different ownership, including his first high tech distribution company. He also served as President/CEO of five additional companies, three based in the US and two in England. During his nearly 65 years in the industrial automation business, Glen received numerous accolades including being named ISA Fellow of the Industrial Society of Automation in honor of his engineering design achievements and patents in flow measurement and industrial process automation. He was a member of the ISA for over 50 years and in 1970 served as president of the Houston section, the largest in the world. In 1988 he was honored as the Entrepreneur of the Year in high tech manufacturing in the Southwest US by the Institute of American Entrepreneurs.
Throughout Glen’s life after college, MIT and its community were very important to him. He served the school in many capacities over the years. He began with the local MIT Club of South Texas, serving as president. In 2007, the club established the Glen V. Dorflinger ’46 award to be given for a club member’s exemplary service. As a member of the Educational Council, he interviewed and recommended Houston high school students for admission. Later he served on the Board of the Alumni Association, the Alumni Fund Board, the Corporate Development Committee, and the Board of the MIT Corporation. In 1996 Glen received the Bronze Beaver Award, the highest award given to alumni volunteers for outstanding service to the Institute. Ten years later, he received the Dalton Award presented annually to a member of the Corporation Development Committee in recognition of extraordinary leadership on MIT’s behalf. He was very proud of his school and its impact on the betterment of the world.
Among the organizations that meant the most to Glen was the Houston Breakfast Club of which he was a member for more than 40 years, serving as president and director. Another was the Houston Racquet Club where he was a charter member and served on the board of directors. Other long time associations were with the Rotary Club (http://www.legacy.com/memorial-sites/rotary-international/?personid=153544342&affiliateID=298) of Houston and the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.
Traveling the world with Phyllis was another highlight of his life. Over the last 40 years, they visited more than 100 countries. In later life, they enjoyed several vacations together with their extended family.
Glen was a lifetime athlete and thrilled to any competition. Following the example of his older brother, he became active in any available sport beginning at age five. By the end of elementary school, he had participated in organized (and unorganized) baseball, football, basketball, hockey, track, tennis, golf, and water sports. At Lawrenceville, he was awarded seven varsity letters in three years in baseball, football, and hockey. At MIT he played varsity squash and lacrosse. In the Navy he played baseball during duty stops with Cruiser Division 14. After college and the Navy, Glen played semi-pro hockey in New York and continued to play later in Houston where he served as president of the Houston Amateur Hockey Association. He officiated at home games for the Houston Aeros. He also continued to avidly pursue tennis and golf. During his childrearing and entrepreneurial years, he limited his sports activities to tennis and racquetball. He enjoyed water sports and snow skiing with his family. In his later years, he continued tennis and snow skiing, and picked up windsurfing. His participation in competitive tennis lasted over 80 years. He loved it and was fortunate to be able to play well until the end.
In the last few years, Glen devoted himself to the care of his wife in their residence in the Buckingham. He spent less time working and confined his sporting life to the tennis court. His love for Phyllis and his family was remarkable and evident. His example as a husband and father will endure. Glen was full of life – a dynamic, friendly, generous spirit. His enthusiastic and warm presence will be missed by many.
In lieu of customary remembrances, a contribution to a charity of your choice may be made in his honor.
The family wishes to thank Phyllis’s caregivers Rita and Jeanette for their assistance at this time.
A memorial celebration of Glen’s life will be held at the Houston Racquet Club at 10709 Memorial Drive on Tuesday, September 20th from 4-6 pm.