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.



Brian Waddington said...

Myra and I met Frank and Kathy in the Philippines. One of my favourite stories was how he go on board an American nuclear submarine.

KANG SC said...

In August 1998, I was attending Silliman University Divinity School (SUDS), Dumaguete. I was down to literally my last $20. I had asked around for help, but no one at SUDS would help.
One day, I heard a knock on the door. Standing there was a big man. It was Frank. He understood I was down to $20. A few minutes later, I received over $100. Frank's only stipulation was that I help someone in the future when in need.
In the same month, I was removed from being a student chaplain at Silliman University(SU) Church. I went to SU Church. I asked why I was removed. No answer. Then I went to Philippine Government Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Region VII Office, Dumaguete. That day, I got a call from United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) National Office to drop my CHR Case. Pressure from UCCP, the CHR dropped my case.
Feeling Confident, the SUDS Dean sent an American Missionary Teacher from the Reformed Church of America (RCA) to speak with Frank. It was to cease and desist. After hearing this RCA Teacher, Frank spoke to the RCA Teacher with blunt and colorful language. He said to this RCA Teacher what had happened to me. Now, they pull this. He said this was enough. He said no one was protecting my interests at SUDS. The RCA Teacher went back chastened. I didn't know these events were happening. He told me afterwards.
Frank was plain spoken and scrupulously honest. There were many attempts by various people in the private and public realm in the Philippines that attempted to get money from him. He wouldn't have any of it.
Frank had gone to a poor town south of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental. He was to do a clean water project there with $10,000. The mayor of this town attempted to get a bribe. Frank said no bribe. Frank said he would leave. Mayor thought he was bluffing. Frank did not bluff. He left without doing the clean water project.
Within the year, the project was done in this town. There was no bribing.
I miss him. He was and is a powerful example for me. He put the Gospel into action. As he knew from the Epistle of James 2:14-17 "14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters,[e] if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." (New Revised Standard Bible (NRSV).
Rest in Peace, Frank.

Brian Waddington said...

That's the Frank I remember.

Unknown said...

It's sad not see too many people say anything about Frank. Positively, he affected many lives, including mine. On his 2nd Death Anniversary, I still greatly respect and miss him. He left us too early. I miss you, Frank.

Unknown said...

I miss Frank Glenn. My dad and I stayed at his house in Richmond VA for a few months. Living with him and Kathy, and going out in Greek restaurants were the best memories of Richmond VA.

Unknown said...

He treated us like one of his family. I am so thankful that I've met the most bubbly person I Knew in my whole life. It was the love that makes me happy after he and Lola left. I miss him so much.

Unknown said...

I was in Mr. Frank Glenn's Religion 11 class at Silliman University in 1997. He was very friendly and would always sport a warm smile. My classmates were fond of calling him Mr. Weatherbee and he would always laugh it off :) i didn't know until now that he had passed on. I remember him jogging around the campus early in the morning in his white sando and red shorts, tagging along with him was a cute little boy. Mr Glenn was a gentle soul.