Surdex Founder Earl Hoffmann Dies Age 89

  • 4 May, 2016
  • Mark Zeman

Earl HoffmannEarl R. Hoffmann, Sr., founder of Surdex Corporation, died April 26, 2016, in Florida at the age of 89 due to complications arising from pneumonia. In 1949 he married his wife Jean and had four children: Earl, Jr., Randall, Ronald, and Russell Hoffmann.

Earl began his career in aviation in WWII as a naval aviator, and in 1954 he founded Surdex with his father Oscar; in 1960 the company purchased the first Carl Zeiss RMK aerial photography camera in the United States, one of many “firsts” with a company that would become an industry trendsetter. Under Earl’s leadership over the past 62 years, the company has grown from a small local / regional concern to one of the country’s leading photogrammetric engineering firms.

Having lived in the St. Louis region for his entire life, Earl was well respected and admired and served in several public capacities: he was a charter member and past President of the Legislative Council of Photogrammetry (which became the MAPPS organization), and the President of the Chesterfield Monarch Levee District for 22 years, from 1993 – 2015.

Surdex is truly a family business. All of Earl’s four sons have worked most of their careers at Surdex, and several of his grandchildren have worked at Surdex as well, currently including Adam Hoffmann and Rachael Donaldson.

Much admired by business associates and much loved by friends and family, Earl leaves this world with a legacy of hard work and pride in the company he built, and a family that carries on the name forever associated with these values.


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