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Dr. Herbert M. Pflanz

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Memories & Candles

“I knew Herb through my association with Deutsches Altenheim. He was a caring, generous and gentle man. His quiet nature belied his many gifts. May he...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Jennifer Clark - Acquaintance

“Our sincere condolences to the whole family ”
2 of 5 | Posted by: NENA Bongers-Spoljaric

“What a live! Save Travels, Herb! ”
3 of 5 | Posted by: Oliver Lembke - Gauting

“I remember Dr Pflanz and my Dad, Landry Albani, working together at Allis Chalmers before branching out to start Phoenix Electric. They had a mutual...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Sandra Sullivan - Friend

“We are very sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers to all. ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: Paul and Alana Marino - Friend


PFLANZ, Dr. Herbert M., age 93 of Westwood passed away peacefully on November 24, 2020. Born in Landsberg/Lech, Germany on August 21, 1927, he was the son of the late Maria (Hagg) and Eduard Pflanz. Herb is also predeceased by his wife of 65 years Berta (Morgenlaender), his older brother Eduard, his younger sister Marlies. He is survived by his brother Reinhard with wife Christel, his sister-in-law Anni with Dr William Newman, his sister-in-law Walburga with Eberhard Knobloch, his sister-in-law Rita with Rudolf Pecka as well as many nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his children: Thomas Pflanz with wife Eileen of Westwood, Herbert E. Pflanz with wife Karen of Burlington, Peter Pflanz with partner Cecile LeBlanc of Barnstead, NH, Dr. MaryAnn Pflanz with Anton Uebelhoer of Gauting, Germany. He was a greatly loved "Opa" by his 10 grandchildren: Jennifer Schaaf, Kevin, Amy, Christopher, Lauren, Timothy, Alison Pflanz, Valentin, Zoe and Severin Uebelhoer, and by his two great granddaughters Holland and Arden Pflanz.

In his early years Herb helped out in the family bakery, making deliveries by bike; and enjoyed hiking and biking throughout Bavaria traveling as far as Austria and Czechoslovakia.
After the war, Herb completed his high school degree, met the love of his life: Berta Morgenlaender and obtained a degree in electrical engineering at the Technical University of Munich. After marrying, they immigrated in 1953 to Chicago for his first job. After the birth of their first son they moved to Boston where he worked for Allis Chalmers. He attended classes at MIT and received his master of science in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in 1961. After the birth of his fourth child, the family moved to Eindhoven, Holland where Herb completed a Doctorate in Physics: High Voltage Arcing Phenomena, in 1967. After moving back to Massachusetts, Berta and Herb bought their dream house in Westwood in 1969 where they lived the rest of their lives.

Herb spent most of his life furthering his knowledge and becoming an expert in his field of high voltage arcing phenomena. He held lectures in South America and his expertise was required as far afield as China. He was an IEEE Fellow. In 1971, when Allis Chalmers moved to Mississippi, Herb decided to stay and co-founded Phoenix Electric Corporation in Canton. There he continued to develop products for the High Power utility industry and invented current limiting protectors. In 1983, Herb left Phoenix Electric to start consulting and continued to invent and design products. He held 37 U.S and Canadian patents in his name.

In addition, Herb was a very active member of the German-American community in the Boston area. He was active as a lector at the Holy Trinity Church in Boston and was constantly with and around people giving of himself. In 1998, the German Consulate in Boston awarded Dr. Pflanz the German Service Cross for his service and dedication to his community.

After retirement, Herb greatly enjoyed being the "Opa" for his grandchildren. Throughout his life Herb enjoyed nature and especially Sunday walks in the Blue Hills, Houghtons Pond, Ponkapoag, Nantasket Beach and gardening in his own back yard. In addition, Herb loved exploring the world with Berta and trips took him from Alaska to South America, through Europe (with, of course, stops in Germany) in his new Volvo and to China and Indonesia. He had a knack for languages and always enjoyed mingling with the locals. His daily Boston Globe and watching the Evening news were an integral part of his day.
After the death of his beloved wife Berta, Herb still always said: "We love you" at the end of phone calls and thereby continued to include Berta in his life. We will miss Herb dearly but know that he and Berta are happily looking down at us with a smile on their faces.

In lieu of flowers donations in Herb's memory can be made to the Deutsches Altenheim in West Roxbury at www.germancentre.org.
Due to Pandemic, Mass is private. A celebration of Life will be held as soon as it is safe to do so. The family of Dr. Herbert M. Pflanz thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.