Glen William Culbertson
Family man, athlete and talented computer scientist.
Glen was born February 22, 1932 in Pontiac, MI and lived on a 20 acre farm in Walled Lake, Michigan. He was the youngest of the three siblings. His father worked for the Chicago Northwestern railroad. During the depression his father had his salary cut, but he had a job, so they were better off than most. In high school he was voted “Future Farmer of the Year” his Senior year. Glen attended Michigan State University and participated in ROTC and earned a bachelor’s degree in Math.
To fulfill his military service, he enlisted in the Air Force and they shipped him to Denver’s Lowry Air Force base where he was eventually promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. While at Lowry, he was introduced to skiing and he really enjoyed it. He was also active in bowling and softball. The Major running the officers softball team that Glen was on asked him to keep playing for the team after he left the Air Force.
When Glen was through with his military service he decided to stay in Denver. He saw an ad in the paper that the Martin company was hiring math majors. After being hired, they gave him the manuals for their future IBM computer and he spent his days reading manuals multiple times. He had to figure it out himself - no formal training. They had to travel to IBM world headquarters in New York to test the programs that they had written. He was eventually tasked to write programs to compute Titan missile trajectories. The job paid a whopping $430 a month as opposed to $240 a month in the military. While at Martin he met Joan and they were married on December 27th, 1958. They had their first daughter Colleen in October the next year.
After the Martin company he took a job with the Lockheed Company in Sunnyvale, California. The job at Lockheed wasn’t very good, but they had a good softball league and they won the championship. The trophy for that championship is on the desk of his granddaughter, Christina, who now works for Lockheed / Martin. His son David was born while they were in California.
After Lockheed, the family moved to Salt Lake City, where he was appointed Lead Scientific Programmer at Hercules Powder, a rocket manufacturer. While in Salt Lake, his second daughter, Anne, was born. In Salt Lake he faced a daily challenge in the winter when leaving the house - turn left and it’s twenty minutes to skiing, turn right and it 20 minutes to work.
After Hercules the family was packed up again and moved to Canoga Park California, where he took a job with IBM and his second son, Matt, was born. IBM then moved the family to Los Alamos, New Mexico for a year and finally to Denver in 1966. Colorado would be home for the rest of his life.
Sports were always a big part of his life. Skiing and bowling in the winter and softball and golf in the summers. He shared his love of these sports with the entire family. In bowling, he never quite had a perfect game, but he bowled a 299 game on two occasions. The family would go skiing most weekends in the winter and spend a lot of time watching softball games and tournaments in the summer. He and Joan would usually bowl in two leagues every winter.
Glen worked for a few different companies over the years, until in 1978 he decided to start his own software development company. He bought a refrigerator sized computer and put it in the basement and set up office. He and Joan setup a service for bowling leagues to compute the weekly standings and statistics. Glen developed the software and Joan ran the service. Colleen and Dave worked for the company out of college.
In 1982, Glen approached an auto parts distributor, that he had done work for in the past, with an idea to develop a computer system for auto parts stores. This software package is called CounterWorks and has been continuously developed and enhanced since 1982. The system is in use by over 800 auto parts stores across the country. Dave and Matt continue to run the business today. Glen retired at age 65 but continued to be active in the business.
Retirement for Glen and Joan included a move to live on the golf course in Battlement Mesa. They enjoyed the time there but eventually moved back to Denver. The retirement years kept Glen’s theme of activity going with lots of golf, bowling and still some skiing. He enjoyed the time with the family, kids and grandkids. He really enjoyed the time with friends too.
He continued bowling in 3 leagues a week and the last ball he threw was a strike. Of course! He will be missed by many. His dry sense of humor lives on with the stories we will always love to tell.
In Lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in Glen's name to the American Glaucoma Society (see information below).
American Glaucoma Society
655 Beach Street, San Francisco CA 94109