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Published: Thursday, 7/9/2009

Navy vet installed area sound systems

Glen Torrence, 82, who after a career at the company his father founded devoted his retirement to self-education and community causes, died of cancer Monday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.

He retired in the 1980s as a vice president of Torrence Sound Equipment, which his father started in 1928.

After stateside Navy service in World War II, he became an installer for the firm. He put in sound systems for churches, schools, and theaters and, in the 1950s, put up home television towers. Later, he supervised installations.

The work gave him a sense of accomplishment, his son, David, said. But when Mr. Torrence retired, "he blossomed.

"When he had some time, he began educating himself," his son said. "A high school teacher [of his] would have been shocked to see his library today."

Mr. Torrence was a supporter of Sunshine Inc., which helps people with developmental disabilities, and he took part in its annual fund-raising walk.

He was a founding member early this decade of the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio.

"He was a tremendous gift to the MultiFaith Council," Judy Trautman, a co-chairman, said. "Although he was a very devout Church of the Brethren Christian, he truly believed that everyone was part of the same human race and had, each of them, an individual spiritual path, and he respected them all."

He led nature tours of his Monclova Township land, where he reassembled an 1857 barn and tended an apple orchard and a few sheep and chickens.

"He loved to expose [children] to nature," said his son, a teacher at Central Catholic High. "He always brought the spiritual side to it: God's all around us in nature."

Mr. Torrence was a graduate of Waite High School.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Jean; son, David; daughters, Becky Bryant and Sue Valle; brother, Howard; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Walter Funeral Home after 2 p.m. today. Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Heatherdowns Church of the Brethren, where he was a member. The family suggests tributes to Sunshine Inc. or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

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