Obituary: Ernst de Flines, 78, of Rowayton

Ernst de Flines
Ernst de Flines

Ernst de Flines of Rowayton passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, May 21st surrounded by family and friends after fighting a courageous battle against cancer. He was 78-years-old.

He was born in The Netherlands to André Quirin de Flines and Titia de Flines-Leupen. After attending college, Ernst joined the Dutch Navy where he was an officer on a minesweeper. After the Navy, he began what was to become a long and successful career in advertising. In 1965, Ernst met and married Margriet Feitz and moved to New York City to be in the heart of his industry. He later switched his career to focus on database marketing and was CEO of VNU-BIS. He retired in 1994.

Ernst and Margriet were avid sailors, which led them to discover Rowayton, where they moved to in 1978 after their daughter Tessa was born. After a short stint back in The Netherlands, the family sailed back to the U.S., visiting many places along the way. This 9-month journey was one of the highlights of his life. After retirement, he focused on his passions of community involvement, boating, gardening, following the stock markets and socializing, even more so after his wife Margriet passed away in 1999.  

In Rowayton, Ernst was one of the founding fathers of the Pine Point Association and was a long-term member and former President. He was also actively involved in the board of the Rowayton Civic Association for several years. He was known by many in town due to his magnetic personality, strong opinions and open invitation to enjoy a drink on his terrace.

He is survived by his daughter Tessa, her husband Marnix Jansen and their two children Carsten and Mira, his sister Agnes de Flines, his brother Rob de Flines and wife Door as well as his long-time girlfriend Sue Ryan.

A service to celebrate his life will be held on May 25th at 2:00pm at the United Church of Rowayton.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider donations to: Stamford Hospital Bennett Cancer Center: https://www.stamfordhealth.org/care-treatment/cancer/ways-to-give/; Rowayton Civic Association: http://www.rowaytoncurrents.com/?page_id=445.

Edward Lawrence Funeral Home handled arrangements, www.lawrencefuneralhome.com/.