Putnam P. Flint ’42

Putnam P. Flint ’42 died April 22, 2014, in Weston, Mass. He was born in Milton, Mass., on September 6, 1918, and prepared for college at Governor Dummer Academy and New Prep School. He attended Bowdoin from 1938 to 1939, a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, but left because of undiagnosed dyslexia. He also studied for a year at Northeastern University. He served to first lieutenant in the Army during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star. He recounted his war memories in Panther Soup: Travels Through Europe in War and Peace, by British writer John Gimlette. He believed World War II was the last justifiable war, but he never spoke about his experiences until Panther Soup was published in 2009, and he never allowed his children to watch war movies. While working in sales for a food machinery business, he noticed that the breading was inconsistent on the fish sticks a client’s company produced. Tracing the assembly line’s path, he found a worker who manually mixed the batter and often mismeasured the ingredients. To remedy the potential for human error, Flint developed the first automatic batter mixer with viscosity control, in 1955. That patented invention became the foundation for Wilevco, a company he helped found and served as president and director. He also served as a trustee of Christian Fellowship Foundation from 1949 to 1960. He is survived by son Leverett Flint, daughters Margi Flint and Rebecca Friedman, ten grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of fifty-eight years, Dorothy Smith Flint, in 2002; daughter Kitora Anne Bartley in 2008; a grandson who died in infancy in 1983; brother Laurence B. Flint ’34; and brother Vasmer L. Flint ’38, whose plane was shot down in the Korean War in 1951 in Iwo Kuni, Japan.