Earnest Frederick Gloyna

  • Born: June 30, 1921
  • Died: January 9, 2019
  • Location: Austin, Texas

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705

Tel. (512) 452-8811

Tribute & Message From The Family

Earnest Frederick Gloyna passed away at age 97, on January 09, 2019. His life was filled with love of family, country, academic and professional accomplishments and true friends. He shared the adoration of Agnes Mary (Lehman) Gloyna, his wife of 66 years.

He was born in Wilbarger County, Texas on June 30, 1921. He was the first child born to Herman and Johanna Gloyna. Earnest had three brothers: Herman, Robert, and Emmett. Being the oldest child, life was a myriad of chores around the farm. When he wasn't helping his Father, Earnest could be found helping his Mother, which had its rewards as she was an excellent cook. There wasn't anything she couldn't bake in their wood fired stove. Earnest thought there was nothing better than fresh baked bread, warm from the oven with home churned butter and fresh preserves. Earnest and his brothers were close friends with their seven double cousins who lived nearby. The three girls: Clara, Elsie and Agnes were more like sisters than cousins.

He was homeschooled for a short period before attending public school and graduating from Five-in-One High School. He studied at home most of this time by the light of a coal oil lamp. A couple of local Vernon boys talked Earnest into entering Texas Tech University and studying engineering with them. He was not prepared for a science and engineering program. Entering Texas Tech, he was not even sure what field of engineering he should study. Ultimately, he chose Civil Engineering and he received an excellent education in that field. At Tech, Earnest joined the ROTC program. During his senior year Pearl Harbor was attacked and the US entered WW II. June 01, 1942, Earnest was commissioned a second lieutenant in the army of the United States. Earnest was assigned to the 820th Engineering Aviation Battalion in England and was soon building bomber bases for the army air force. Captain Gloyna was part of the D-Day invasion and entered Europe via Omaha Beach. Moving inland the 820th built three airfields for fighter planes in the Omaha Beach enclave. The 820th was an integral part of five major combat campaigns: Rhineland, Ardennes, Normandy, Central Europe and Northern France. The 820th always operated in the forward area, much of the time in direct support of General Paton's Third Army. It was said that these men exerted super human effort and professional expertise to build airfields on time and under extreme conditions of mobile warfare.

Upon returning from the war Major Earnest Gloyna proposed to Agnes Mary Lehman. They were married February 17, 1946 at the Lehman family home in Wilbarger County. The happy couple moved to Lubbock so Earnest could complete the last requirements for a civil engineering degree. Upon completion Earnest saw a posting that Magnolia Petroleum Company was hiring civil engineers. He interviewed, and the couple relocated to Dallas to start Earnest's professional career. Desiring an advanced degree in engineering, Earnest left Magnolia and enrolled in the Master of Engineering program at the University of Texas in Austin. This was the beginning of a long and distinguished association with the University of Texas at Austin. While completing his graduate degree he experienced research and teaching. With a Master of Engineering degree completed, Earnest had a decision to make. Stay in academia or go into industry. When faced with a problem to solve or situation to resolve, he and Agnes "worked the problem". Earnest took a summer appointment at Oak Ridge, Tennessee with the Atomic Energy Commission. Earnest could not ignore his desire to continue to study the complex and challenging new areas of engineering. He wanted a PhD. He applied to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland and was accepted to the new program in Environmental Engineering.

After completing his doctorate degree at Johns Hopkins University, Earnest and family returned to his beloved state of Texas. He accepted a faculty position at the University of Texas at Austin. His work in sanitary engineering and public health created a new research area in civil engineering that became known as Environmental Health Engineering. His research activities made the program one of the highest rated in the country.

After many years of research, teaching and service, Earnest was appointed Dean of Engineering in 1970. A position he was to hold for the next seventeen years. During his time as Dean he was responsible for growing the college of engineering into a top ten national program. One of his goals was to attract blue ribbon faculty and high-quality students from all segments of society. He began developing first-class facilities with high visibility in national review boards and technical societies. He developed programs to produce the funding necessary to support his vision.

Earnest excelled in academia, but was also a successful consulting engineer, working closely with both the private and public sectors. Earnest was involved in projects all over the world with the World Health Organization. His work with waste stabilization ponds underscores his primary interest in engineering as a mechanism to provide low cost answers to health problems in developing countries. He maintained that development should provide an environment that promotes, not impairs, the health and well being of mankind and other living things. His expertise was highly sought after. When China and the World Bank needed environmental oversight on a large Yangtze River project, the famous Three Gorge Dam project, Earnest was one of two foreign consultants invited.

Dean Gloyna stepped down as Dean in 1987. He continued to teach classes, consult and support graduate students. He and Agnes enjoyed the years after the deanship spending time at the "Little G Ranch" outside Burnet, Texas. At the "Little G Ranch" Earnest and Agnes entertained friends and associates. The star attraction at the "Little G Ranch" was Earnest's favorite Longhorn, Bubba.

Earnest was a member of many engineering societies, including the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Water Environment Federation, American Association of Civil Engineers and TAMEST, the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.

Earnest earned many honors and awards over his long and illustrious career. Earnest was exceptionally proud of being selected as a Distinguished Alumnus from all three universities he attended: Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at Austin and Johns Hopkins University. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1970. Earnest was awarded the President's Citation from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007.

One of his former students, Dr. Davis Ford described, "Earnest Gloyna as a warm, affectionate and loyal man. He was a man of principle and integrity, a man who believes in the work ethic."

Earnest was preceded in death by his wife, Agnes Gloyna, his brother, Herman Gloyna, and his grandson Steve Grosskopf. He is survived by his son Dr. David Gloyna and his wife Sue, daughter Lisa Gloyna, grandsons Scott Gloyna and wife Blair, Keith Grosskopf and wife Molly, granddaughter Tara Pritchard and husband Andrew, and great grandson John Grosskopf.

Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Monday, January 14, 2019 at Weed Corley-Fish, 3125 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78705. Funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1500 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78757.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Friends of Alec in the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Austin Texas, or the charity of your choice.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Dean Gloyna was a guide to me as a UT student in the 70s. He has been a friend to my family at Westminster Manor the past 10 years. Our love and support to his family.

Posted by Russell Leigon - Austin, TX - Friend   January 15, 2019

Dear Lisa I had the pleasure of working for Earnest as his first Assoc Dean when he was named Dean. He was a strong willed German leader as you well know.
I enjoyed working for him Immensely. He was very loyal to all his friends and employees
earnest was the perfect person to follow John McKetta as Dean at UT and together they made the College of Engineering one of the 5 BEST in the World.
We loved Agnes as well and I always thought Your Dad did a good job of taking care of her with Your help. You are an Angel for all your grat love and work taking care of both of them!!! Much Love RONALD AND MARTHA HUDSON.

Posted by RONALD HUDSON - AUSTIN, TX - Coworker   January 15, 2019

Thank you Dr. Gloyna ... appreciate your kindness.

Posted by Rick Perkins - Austin, TX - Student   January 15, 2019

I have known Earnest for almost 58 years. I would not have become an Environmental Engineer, without his input in my life. He was a teacher, a colleague, and most of all -- a friend. He was a pioneer in the arena of Public Health and had an enviable career. He may be gone....but certainly will never be forgotten.
Henry Hervol, PE, Round Rock, Texas - Jan. 15th, 2019

Posted by Henry Hervol - Round Rock, TX - Friend   January 15, 2019

Dean Gloyna was a scholar, war hero, educator, entrepreneur, and administrator, but most importantly he was a great husband and father. Dean Gloyna was also a very good friend to many. Dean Gloyna has left a significant mark on the lives of many, and he will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to be in his company. Words are inadequate to sum up the life of Dean Gloyna. Suffice to say he was a truly fine gentleman. May Dean Gloyna now be at rest.

Posted by Hector De Leon - Ausitn, TX   January 15, 2019

Dean Gloyna was my first real boss after college. He wasn't a fan of my facial hair, but complimented me on keeping it neat and trimmed. We were preparing for an alum event and he caught me in the hall and asked what is the G3 on this Fortunately, after I made a bee-line to Col. Tom Reeder's (ret.) office, I learned that G3 was army speak for operation or plan. I subsequently gave him a G3 on all our events. When I moved to Austin, I received three speeding tickets in six months, which made me a habitual violator and in danger of losing my license. I went before the judge, told him I was new to town and still learning my way around town. He asked where I worked and I replied UT Engineering. For Earnie Gloyna? Yes, your Honor. I know Earnie. I believe I understand your stress. The judge kindly allowed me to keep my license, take a defensive driving class and to tell Earnie Hello. Dean Gloyna's involvement with Rotary gave me a lifetime opportunity to go on a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Western Australia. I sought his blessing to apply since it meant I would be out of the office for six-weeks. He was most encouraging in that endeavor and that was a trip I will never forget. My mother was from Hardeman County (Chillicothe) and my maternal side of the family knew the Gloyna family. He liked those little connections. After I left UT, we sent each other occasional notes. As my career advanced, he was kind and encouraging. Earnest Gloyna was a giant in academia, in the history of the UT College of Engineering and important person in my career. Grace and peace to the family as you navigate the days ahead.

Posted by Jeffery McLain - Houston, TX   January 15, 2019

Dear Lisa, We have such fond memories of your visit to Alaska. Quite an adventure. I'm sure not one your parents ever forgot. May you find peace in all your memories. Your parents were the best!

Posted by Peggy Pollen - FAIRBANKS, AK - Friend   January 14, 2019

Redeemer Lutheran Church thanks God for Earnest Gloyna. His family is in our prayers.

Pastor Dave and Sandy Schroder

Posted by David Schroder - Austin, TX   January 14, 2019

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. My Mom, Mary Guggisberg, always spoke so highly and fondly of Earnest, and has always been proud to have a copy of his book.

With our love and deepest sympathy, Danny & Julie (Guggisberg) Fancher & Family (Vernon, TX)

Posted by Julie Fancher - Vernon, TX - Family   January 14, 2019

Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.

Posted by Anusuya (Annie) Iyer - Austin, TX   January 14, 2019

I'm sorry for the loss of your Dad. I have such fond memories of both he and your Mom as they were so kind to me during my years at UT. Oscar and I will join you for the funeral service Tuesday Connie Miller Einkauf

Posted by Connie Einkauf - Plano, TX - Family   January 14, 2019

Dear Gloyna Family and Friends,
My father, Theron Lehr, would have certainly considered Earnest as his best lifetime friend. The two were comrades at Texas Tech and in WWII. For the over sixty years I can recall, "Dr. Gloyna" and Agnes were frequent mentions at the family dinner table and in my father's story telling. In addition to the many qualities as one might glean from his fine obituary, Earnest was unfailingly loyal--- having traveled with Lisa several times to see my father in my father's last months (thank you, Lisa). Earnest's sheer presence and unassuming manner and ease were evident as some of his essential qualities. As I am sure with many, Theron felt honored and privileged and blessed to have Earnest as a friend. Best regards, Lon Lehr

Posted by Lon Lehr - Houston, TX - Family Friend   January 14, 2019

Remembering all the family of Earnest with love and affection.I have so many beautiful memories of long ago.God bless you all; Mary Schulz Guggisberg.

Posted by A friend   January 13, 2019

Earnest Gloyna was a Great Man - A Brave Man - a man who by his example caused others to excel! John Halton

Posted by A friend   January 13, 2019

Dear Lisa David and family. I was touched by your dads obituary. What a story. What depth. Your dad and mom left a great legacy, you and your families. My Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Buddy TIPTON - Austin, TX - Friend   January 13, 2019

I had the privilege of working with him from 1969 to 1987. He was unforgettable character, molder of students, and visionary. He also enjoyed hearing that little bit of gossip. He was my mentor. Thank you Dr. G.

Posted by Carol Sellers - Pflugerville, TX - Coworker   January 13, 2019

The Big E, as my late husband and I referred to him because of the way he wrote his name, was a great friend and mentor to many. I am privileged to have known him many enjoyable years, enjoyed many dinners together with our spouses, and will miss him greatly.

Posted by Linda Sorber - San Antonio,, TX - Family Friend   January 12, 2019

one of the most impressive engineers that I have ever met..
Fredrick G. Brunell, MS EHE '70 , PE

Posted by fredrick & sirene brunell - austin, TX - Student   January 11, 2019

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