DALLAS - Jack L. Stiles, founder of Stiles Corp., a manufacturer of specialty air conditioning products, died Feb. 10, 2004, due to complications from heart bypass surgeries performed last December. He was 74. The products he invented and produced included portable, wall-mount, and split-system air conditioners for commercial and military markets.

Mr. Stiles started his career as an HVAC service contractor in Louisiana and Mississippi. He became interested in improving the reliability and serviceability of the packaged air conditioners built in the 1950s. He also saw an opportunity to improve roof-mounted applications by using metal-fabricated accessories.

He started Stiles Corp. in a small warehouse in Irving, Texas, in 1968, building a new line of metal roof curbs. He incorporated the company in 1973. Eventually it produced a full line of accessories for U.S. A/C manufacturers including Carrier, Day & Night, General Electric, Lennox, Rheem-Ruud, Trane, and York.

Functioning as the chief product design engineer, Mr. Stiles developed and manufactured some of the first systemized rooftop accessories (roof curbs, plenums, slide-in economizers, and concentric diffusers). Together with Honeywell, he is said to have developed an energy management system that controlled multiple rooftop units individually. Later, Stiles Corp. diversified into manufacturing telecommunication shelters.

According to those who knew him best, Mr. Stiles was "passionate about his work, creating air conditioning products that solved special problems or filled an unmet need ... the more challenging, the better!"

Publication date: 04/05/2004