Saturday, September 22, 2012

Encomium: Frank C. Glenn Jr.

In the Fifties, Frank Glenn planned to join the Navy. Instead, his favorite teacher at Asheville High School told him was too smart not to go to college. She helped him get a scholarship to Wake Forest University. He met his wife, Kassiani ('Kathy'), just before graduating in 1961 and married her three weeks later. He waited until after the wedding to buy her glasses.

After the children arrived, Frank had to get a real job. He worked for Science Research Associates for several years selling educational materials to schools. During his career, his territories included five states and the military, and he earned a masters’ degree in education from the University of Tennessee. He spent the longest time of his employed years living in Lexington, Kentucky, where he was a deacon and firebrand at Central Baptist Church.

In 1994, Frank took early retirement and began his real work. He and his wife became missionaries for the United Church of Christ at Silliman University in the Philippines, where Frank taught Old Testament and Kathy taught social work. Their special projects were raising money to run water pipes to mountain to villages in desperate need of water, and founding the “One Church, One Child” foster care project.

His lifelong hobbies were music, politics, and religion. He was fondest of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. He was an active member of the Democratic Party and worked to support local candidates in the places where he lived, especially after his second retirement to Tarpon Springs, Florida. Religious discussions were where he excelled, however. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library spurred a lifelong interest in gnosticism. Later, he became a follower of John Dominic Crossan and involved with The Jesus Seminar.

Of all his achievements, he was proudest of participating in the 1960 Woolworth’s sit-ins in Winston-Salem. He was in the divinity school at Wake Forest at the time, and braved a riot on an issue of fairness and principle.

Frank Glenn passed away in Tarpon Springs on September 11th, 2012, due to complications from sarcoidosis (diagnosed in 1979) and pulmonary hypertension (diagnosed in 2005). He was under hospice care for the last six weeks of his life, during which he paid for his green burial, planned his own memorial celebration, and commissioned an elegy from Gwen Mayo (she agreed after informing him that the deceased got no editorial rights). Frank also wrote a final address to the congregation, which his daughter read at the service.

He is survived by his wife, Kassiani Glenn, and his brother, Ted (Freda) Glenn. He is also survived by his children, Sarah (Gwen) Glenn, Joel (Kathryn) Glenn, his Filipino son Phyns Fabrigar Patalinghug, adopted daughter Deborah (Stan) Karbo, grandchildren Christy McMillen, Aimée Karbo, Suzi Karbo, Travis Karbo, Charlie Karbo, Olivia Karbo, and great-grandchildren Shawn Brown and Hunter McMillen. He is also survived by his godchildren of the Andog family: Shian Mae, Kassiani, Franklenn, and Josémarie. Finally, he is survived by his uncle Jack (Eva) Glenn, his daughters Deborah, Jacque, Tina, and Vixi Jill, and their children.