Subscribe to USGNN!

USGNN Original StoryGlass Industry Mourns the Loss of Don Vild

Don J. Vild, 79, a consultant to the glass and glazing industry for many years, died yesterday morning at his home in Oregon, Ohio. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Irene; two sons, Jeffrey and Michael; grandchildren, Nathan, Mallory and Matthew; and a brother, Thomas.

Vild graduated from Case Western Reserve in 1952 with a mechanical engineering degree, and in 1957 joined Libbey Owens Ford (LOF) where he served as director of architectural products and services. In 1982 he left LOF and started his own consulting business, which gave him the opportunity to work on several notable, worldwide glazing projects. Some of the most well-known projects include the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the Hong Kong Airport, Cleveland Browns Stadium and a number of projects at the Toledo Zoo.

In addition, Vild was a member of several glass industry associations and also contributed to several books, including Time Saver Data for Architectural Design Data and Glass Design for Sloped Glazing.

For the past 50 years Vild has been an important part of the glass and glazing industry, and many industry professionals today credit Vild as a teacher, mentor and friend.

"Don was an icon in the flat glass industry, especially the fabricated glass arenas," says Bob Brown, an industry consultant. "He was a quiet person with a lot of knowledge and had great perception of situations that he encountered."

Greg Carney, technical director for the Glass Association of North America, joined the glass industry in 1981, also with LOF, and met Vild shortly thereafter.

"Don was truly one of the technical experts in the architectural glass industry. In addition to heading the architectural technical service activities for many years with LOF, he went on to be recognized as one of the most respected and knowledgeable independent glass and glazing consultants, as he worked on projects around the world," says Carney. "In his consulting capacity, Don was an outstanding resource for glass manufacturers/fabricators, glazing contractors, general contractors, architects and owners."

Industry colleagues also remember Vild as someone who was always willing to help others learn and grown in their field.

"He was unselfish and willing to teach and share his knowledge with many in the industry over his career. The respect that he had among his peers was obvious to many of us who considered him a personal friend and mentor. His ability to be able to laugh with his colleagues was contagious and the zeal with which he pursued his professional challenges was notable," says Brown. "I am lucky to have known Don as a friend over many years and, along with many in the glass and glazing industry, will miss him."

Carney adds, "Don was always available to industry members to educate and assist in evaluating glass and glazing issues in the field. He will truly be missed by the glass and glazing industry around the world."

Funeral services will take place Saturday, December 1, at Eggleston Meinert Pavley Funeral Home in Oregon, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made to Case Western School of Engineering or the Toledo Zoo.

CLICK HERE to offer your comments about Vild.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.