Robert Torgler, 92, IBM Executive, Including as Assistant to CEO Tom Watson, Former Woodway Country Club Member

Robert Torgler obit

Robert Torgler, 92, passed away on Jan. 19.

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Robert H. Torgler, a resident of Harbor’s Edge, passed away in Norfolk on Jan. 19, 2020.

Robert Torgler obit

Robert Torgler, 92, passed away on Jan. 19.

He was predeceased by his father Elmer Franklin Torgler, his mother Ruth Burger Torgler, twin sisters Lillian Shedden and Marian Shaw, and his granddaughter Alexandra Boyd.

Surviving him are his wife of sixty eight years, Mary Ellen, his daughter Amy Torgler Boyd (Robert), and grandchildren Bryan Boyd and Jennifer Boyd.

Bob was born in Canton, Ohio on Jan. 28, 1928. Active in scouting, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

He attended The College of Wooster before enlisting in the U.S. Army where he spent his tour with the 7th division field artillery in Korea. The Army discovered he was a trumpet player — thus he became the chief bugler of the division.

On returning from the military, he enrolled in the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania. He was president of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and a member of the academic honorary – Beta Gamma Sigma.

Professionally, he spent over 30 years with the data processing divisions of IBM. He started as a marketing representative, then assistant manager in New York City, director of sales training, and a series of senior management positions, including assistant to the CEO of IBM, Thomas Watson.

His last assignment was director of marketing for the public sector in America and later Europe, the Mid East and Africa. In this capacity he and his wife lived in Brussels and Rome.

Mary Ellen once stated that IBM stood for “I’ve Been Moved.” Following his IBM career he served as vice president of international marketing for two large computer firms and concluded his business career by establishing an international marketing consulting firm.

In his retirement years Bob served as a docent at the National Museum of American History and the National Archives. He was a volunteer and director of “Friends,” an Alzheimer’s disease support group for men.

Additionally, Bob was a national lecturer on the American Revolutionary Era. In Norfolk he was an active lecturer at the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR).

His club affiliations included Rotary International, Masons, the American Club in Brussels and Rome and Connecticut country clubs: Wampanoag (Hartford), Woodway (Darien), and Congressional (Washington D.C.). Church affiliations included Presbyterian churches in Connecticut and Potomac, Maryland.

Memorial services will be private for the immediate family. They request contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Virginia Chapter.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

This obituary previously was published by the Virginian-Pilot.

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