Edward D. Golterman, respected businessman, entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of architectural acoustics, passed away at the age of 90 on Saturday, April 16, 2016.
Mr. Golterman served in the U.S. Navy; studied at Miami of Ohio, Westminster College, and received his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis after World War II. He began his career as a salesman for his father’s business and took over the company just two years later after his father’s death. That business — the Herbert Golterman Company, began operations in 1946 selling chain link fencing and other building products to residential customers — later morphed into Golterman & Sabo, a leading manufacturer of architectural acoustical products.
A talented visionary, Mr. Golterman found the perfect technical and business partner in Steve Sabo, and together they established Golterman & Sabo (G&S) Inc. in 1950. As the post war baby boom began, the company saw opportunities with the educational market. By the 1960’s, school chalkboards were their primary product. They developed and held a patent on a trim system for chalkboards and soon became a major market leader. Many schools today have Golterman & Sabo chalkboards and markerboards in their classrooms.
In 1981, he worked with an HOK architect to design and build wood framed and fabric covered acoustical panels for an auditorium at Christian Brothers High School in St. Louis. When the company could not find a contractor willing to install this new product, Mr. Golterman developed the installation method and installed the first G&S acoustical panels. From that small project, the specialty acoustical product line grew to what it is today.
Over the years, Mr. Golterman introduced many products to the construction industry: prefabricated stair systems, steel chalkboards, markerboards and custom tack board systems; but his most lasting contribution was developing the first fabric covered acoustical panels.
The company’s vision expanded when the third generation, Mr. Golterman’s sons Herb, Ned and Andy Golterman, joined the family business in the 1980s. Along with a team of dedicated and forward-thinking employees, the Goltermans have grown the business into one of the leading acoustical and architectural products companies in the United States. G&S continues to be an industry leader, garnering many awards in the construction industry over the years.
Mr. Golterman retired in 1995 at age 70, although he continued to consult in the business he loved, working with sons Herb, Ned and Andy. A lifelong resident of Kirkwood, Missouri (a historic suburb of St. Louis), Mr. Golterman saw G&S Acoustics move from previous locations on The Hill and in South City to its current location at 3555 Scarlet Oak Boulevard in Kirkwood in 1999.
Mr. Golterman loved his hometown of Kirkwood, and he never lived more than a mile from his boyhood home on Jefferson Avenue. He was a 60-year member of First Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood. Mr. Golterman served as head of the St. Louis County Planning and Zoning Committee and the Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mr. Golterman will be remembered for his sense of humor and his love for his family, his Kirkwood community, gardening and the St. Louis construction industry. He is remembered for his honesty and fairness in his business dealings and well respected by all who knew him.
Mr. Golterman is survived by his wife, Molly Golterman (nee Stephens) and his five children: Gail (Mike) Finney, Herb (Laura) Golterman, Ned (Nora Ryan) Golterman, Andy (Nancy) Golterman and Carol (Kevin) Diffendaffer, 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Herb and Margaret Golterman; his first wife, Dorothy Golterman (nee Macdonald); and one son, Jack Golterman. Memorials may be made to Dirk’s Fund Shelter at www.boppchapel.com.