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Philip Harrison “Phil” Enslow Jr. passed away at the age of 89 on October 10, 2022 after a lengthy illness from complications of Agent Orange exposure. Phil was born on March 2, 1933 in Richmond, VA to Col. Philip Harrison Enslow, US Army (Retired) and Charlotte Coalter Enslow, as the youngest of two children.
After a year at Virginia Military Institute, in 1951 Phil earned his appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point, where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps in 1955. The day after graduation Phil married Dianne Elizabeth Gormlie, the daughter of Lt. Col. George F. Gormlie, US Army, and Dorothea Louise Webber Gormlie, both of Massachusetts.
Early in his career Phil showed an aptitude for electrical engineering, or “Juice” as the EE classes at West Point were known. In 1959 Phil earned his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, then after a year in Korea and another year spent as an instructor in computing at West Point, he returned to Stanford where in 1965 he earned his Ph.D. degree, also in EE.
Phil served his country in Vietnam in 1967-68, where he helped deploy one of the early communications networks. For his first six months in-country he traveled throughout South Vietnam and Thailand setting up the network to communicate command and control information. For his final six months Phil was assigned as the Signal Officer of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, known as the “Sky Soldiers”, during their very active combat missions in the Central Highlands area near South Vietnam’s border with Cambodia and Laos.
Just a month after retiring from the Army in 1975 as a Lieutenant Colonel, Phil moved his family to Atlanta and began his civilian career at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of Information and Computer Science (ICS), first as an Associate Professor and then in 1978 as a Full Professor. During his time at Georgia Tech, Phil established a comprehensive educational program in telecommunications within ICS, and in 1990 helped guide the transformation of ICS into the College of Computing. The major advance by Georgia Tech in creating the CoC was in recognizing Computing as a major discipline on the same level as Engineering, Science, etc. In addition to his teaching duties, Phil was very active in recruiting new faculty to the CoC, helping establish Georgia Tech as one of the premier worldwide centers of excellence in Computing and Telecommunications.
Phil authored several books during his career, and was one of the founders of the first international journal of computer telecommunications and networking. In 1988 the City of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, awarded Professor Enslow The Blaeu Prize for his role in helping to create international understanding and cooperation in the development of computer communications technologies. Phil retired from Georgia Tech in August 2000 and was appointed a Professor Emeritus.
Phil and Dianne loved to travel, and whether it was for one of his international conferences, a vacation with his family, or a trip with his fellow West Point alumni, they were fortunate to experience many different lands and cultures. They often took their daughters Dottie and Dana on these trips, and after the daughters married, their spouses and children as well.
Phil was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, whose members are descendants of the officers of General George Washington. Phil strongly believed in the mission of the Society (and its sister organization The American Revolution Institute) to educate Americans, particularly school-aged children, on the importance of the American Revolution and the founding of the United States as a catalyst for the movement of liberty and freedom in nations worldwide.
Phil was predeceased by his parents, his older sister Charlotte, and his first daughter Dianne Elizabeth “DeDe”. He is survived by his wife of 67 years Dianne; daughters Dorothea Bliss Enslow Putnal (Joseph) and Dana Charlotte Enslow Hammock; grandsons Philip James Hammock (Cacilia), Tucker Harrison Hammock, and Randall Coalter Putnal; and two great-grandsons.
The funeral service will be held at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, 3110 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. on Wednesday, October 19 at 12:30 p.m., with a reception to follow immediately afterwards in Gable Hall. For those unable to attend who wish to view the service, it will be streamed live on the St. Martin YouTube page:
The live-stream will begin approximately 10 minutes before the service, at 12:20 p.m. The video will also be accessible after the service has concluded. It will stay housed on the St. Martin’s YouTube page indefinitely so it can be viewed at any date and time.
At a later date there will be a military service with Honors at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, where Phil will be interred, joining his daughter DeDe.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Enslow Endowment for Education, c/o The Society of the Cincinnati, Inc., Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, DC, 20008; or to a cause that is special to you. https://www.americanrevolutioninstitute.org/online-contributions/
Col. Fred Pirkey says
Dianne- I can imagine somewhat you are going through. I offer my deepest sympathy and pray your physical health is satisfactory.
Love, Fred Pirkey
Jan Heath says
Be Thou at Peace.
I was saddened to hear the news that LTC (Ret) Phil Enslow, U.S. Military Academy Class of 1955, passed away earlier this week. He was a long-time and lifetime member of the West Point Society of Atlanta (WPSA), which is how I came to know him. Phil was an active member for many years and recognized as WPSA’s Distinguished Graduate Awardee in 2005. He served on WPSA’s Board of Governors for many years and played a key role in planning and executing the Army-GA Tech football tailgate party in 2007. Phil had a wonderful personality and was always very kind and generous with his time and experience. The last time I saw him was at the Army-GA State tailgate party in 2019. The weather was miserable that day, but he had a smile on his face and was glad to be at the event. I pray that Dianne and his family will cherish their memories and that smiles will eventually replace the tears. Blessings to all. Jan Heath, WPSA Executive Director