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Glen Carl Eggen

Aerospace engineer, honorable man, beloved ‘Yayo’

Glen Carl Eggen died at his home in Claremont on the evening of November 19, 2014, surrounded by the comfort and love of his family. He was 93 years old.

He was born on March 27, 1921 to Bertha (Jeuck) and Olin Eggen in Beloit, Wisconsin. He spent his formative years with his older brother Olin Jr. and younger sister Mary in Orfordville, Wisconsin. He attended the local high school and was a member of the basketball team.

The brilliant intellect and creativity of both Glen and Olin Jr. reached beyond Orfordville and into the world of science and the vast greatness of the universe. The brothers pursued similar career paths; Olin Jr. was led into the field of astronomy and Glen went on to a career in the area of aerospace engineering.

Mr. Eggen belonged to the proud generation of Americans united by the surge of patriotism created by the Second World War. He entered active duty in the US Army on October 15, 1942. He attended and was graduated from Officer’s Candidate School, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. He served in the 3168th Signal Service Battalion, Signal Corps, a small, emerging section of the United States Army, and was stationed for a brief time in San Diego.

During his time in San Diego he met the love of his life, Delfina Elsie Enriquez. A buddy who was being deployed asked Glen to look after Elsie while he was gone. The two married on July 18, 1943 and Glen “took care” of Elsie for 71 years of marriage, until the time of his death. He was called up to spend the remaining years of his military service deployed in Hollandia, New Guinea, fulfilling his assigned responsibilities as a Radio Engineer Officer with an early developing technology called RADAR.

Upon Mr. Eggen’s 1946 release from his military service—during which he was decorated for outstanding service—he and Elsie relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, where he earned his degree at the University of Wisconsin.

The Eggens returned to San Diego in 1949, where Glen was employed as a junior engineer at General Dynamics, Convair Division and where he spent the majority of his professional career. He worked on many programs during his 33-year career at General Dynamics. He was most proud of accomplishing engineering responsibilities on the Atlas Centaur program in the 1950s and early ‘60s.

On behalf of the Naval Seas Systems Command, Mr. Eggen was commended by the Department of the Navy for his outstanding contributions, expertise, personal dedication and integrity in supporting the Full Scale Engineering Development and the Advanced Development of the RAM EX-31 Guided Missile Weapon System.

He was also very active in promoting the engineering disciplines through his involvement in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He held various committee responsibilities for the San Diego Chapter of the IEEE, his last position being the chapter president.

In 1968, Mr. Eggen transferred to the Pomona Division of Convair, where he held various engineering and management positions on the Standard Missile ARM D-2 and the Rolling Airframe Missile Programs. He retired from General Dynamics, Pomona in 1984, continuing to perform independent engineering consulting for a few years.

Mr. Eggen, affectionately known as “Yayo” by his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and close family, loved tinkering with electronics. During his retirement years, he designed and built steam cars with his dear friend, the late Peter Barrett of Pomona, with whom he shared a mutual passion and highly technical knowledge of engineering and electronics. For many years, Glen and Peter traveled to numerous parts of the country, participating in and attending National Steam Car conventions as members of the Steam Car Club of La Verne. The two friends enjoyed many a gourmet fast food meal, stopping at Carl’s Jr. or grabbing a Filet O’Fish sandwich at McDonald’s for a grand total of under $2. 

Mr. Eggen was always the resident expert in the flawless completion of the daily newspaper crossword puzzle. Each day he confidently completed it in ink, never in pencil!

Mr. Eggen was most passionate about his family. He treasured his memories of camping adventures in Sequoia National Park and of cherished family gatherings at his various properties in the San Diego area.

An early riser, Mr. Eggen was a connoisseur of breakfast, savoring each day’s culinary delight or surprise. He spent his final days basking in the presence and sound of laughter and joy of his great-grandsons.

Glen will be remembered as a gentle, sweet soul, with a quiet, deliberate and understanding approach with others. He was the epitome of competence yet humble. Likewise, he was a proud lefty with a quick, wry wit. He was a man of impeccable character who evidenced a high moral standard in everything he did, while treating all with whom he dealt with dignity and honor.

“This great man is now a bright shining star in the heavenly universe,” family shared. 

Mr. Eggen was preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Olin Eggen Jr.; by his sister, Mary Strantz; and by his daughter, Cynthia Hope. He is survived by his wife, Elsie; by his daughter, Teresa Burgdorf (David) of Claremont; by his son, Stephen Eggen (Sue) of Tucson; and by his grandchildren, Karla Ramos Luevano (David), Alexander Ramos, Christopher Eggen Ramos, Michael Eggen (Lindsay) and Kelly Hille (Nathan). He also leaves his great-grandchildren, Josef and Atticus Glen Luevano, Kellan and Kinsley Hille  and Olivia Eggen as well as a host of friends and the entire Enriquez family of San Diego.

The family wishes to extend sincere appreciation to the Visiting Nurses Association Hospice of Southern California and Silvia de Alba, whose efforts enriched Glen’s life and allowed him to depart with great dignity, which was befitting of such a kind and wonderful person.

Funeral services and rendering of military honors are being coordinated by Todd Memorial in Pomona.

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