Donald RetzlaffAge: 8619262013

Donald Retzlaff
Given names
Birth April 16, 1926 49 37
Death of a sisterAdleta Idell Retzlaff
April 6, 1930 (Age 3)

Death of a paternal grandmotherJohanna Caroline (Budelmann) Retzlaff
April 13, 1937 (Age 10)

Death of a fatherHeinrich Dietrich Franz “Frank” Retzlaff
October 10, 1942 (Age 16)

Death of a motherEmma Christine (Swanson) Retzlaff
January 9, 1977 (Age 50)
Death of a brotherFrank Swanson Retzlaff
October 31, 1986 (Age 60)
Death of a wifeNorma Jean (Gentry) Retzlaff
November 9, 2002 (Age 76)
Senior Electrical Engineer

Employer: Texas Instruments, Inc
Death January 15, 2013 (Age 86)
Note: The church service was held on Saturday, January 19th at the First United Methodist Church in Quinla…
Cemetery: Restland
Family with parents - View family
Marriage: April 8, 1912
2 years
elder sister
18 months
elder brother
10 years
Family with Norma Jean (Gentry) Retzlaff - View family


The church service was held on Saturday, January 19th at the First United Methodist Church in Quinlan, Texas. The graveside service was held at Restland in Dallas, with full military honor guard and bugler.

A special memorial document has been prepared by his son to honor his dad in pictures and words. You can view the document (in PDF format)

Don was an integral part of the yearly Family Reunion, acting as the official photographer for the reunion until his son took over the duties. Each year Don related many stories about the family and encouraged each family member to write down their family stories. With the encouragement of his son, Donald Alan Retzlaff, the current Retzlaff Family Historian, Don wrote several books, including 'Cousin Emma' that was about the life of his mother, Emma Christine Retzlaff, the family’s long-time historian. His presence at the yearly reunion will be sorely missed.


Don has written several books. One includes his remembrances of his time as a young boy attending the YMCA camp in Louisville, Kentucky. The book is called "My Memories of the YMCA and Camp Piomingo 1935-1944". He has written a biographical account of the life of his mother, Emma Christine Retzlaff, named "Cousin Emma", and a memoir of his thirty-year career as an Electrical Engineer with Texas Instruments,Inc., titled "Texas Instruments and Me". In 2016, his son, Donald Alan Retzlaff, completed work on his dad's autobiography titled "TINY".

From 1967-1982 he operated Retzlaff Service & Supply, a part-time business primarily servicing and supplying chemicals for swimming pools in the Dallas, Richardson, Garland, and Plano, Texas, areas. From 1982-1990 he ran TINY TEK, INC., where he designed, built and sold over 5,000 memory boards for Atari personal computers. TINY TEK was a heating, air conditioning, electrical service and maintenance contractor in the Lake Tawakoni area. Starting in 1982 he ran Advanced Software International, Inc., and nationally sold software developed by his son, Donald Alan Retzlaff.

From 1953-1983 Don taught many courses in Electronics and Computer Science. He was the primary instructor and developer for the FORTRAN courses for the entire TI corporation. He taught over 2000 students in live classes and then taught classes via videotape. He also taught Assembly Language Programming for TI computers.

While working for Texas Instruments, Inc., from 1964-1983 he was the Manager of the Automatic Test Development Group, in which they automated factories with computers. This included the development of all software and hardware for automatic testers.

They also developed systems for the Shrike Missile, Laser Guided Bombs, Harpoon Missile, Harm Missile, Seismic Intrusion detectors and TOW Anti-Tank Missiles.

When Don retired from TI, he and his wife Norma moved from Dallas to West Tawakoni where they built their retirement home. Don became active in politics in the community and was an elected mayor for West Tawakoni for two separate terms.

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