On August 11, we lost Stephen Glass, 1972 ASTD-OC Chapter President. Earlier in the month, he fell and fractured his hip and contracted pneumonia.
Obituaries usually provide the details, and his obituary was no exception. What his obituary could not communicate was the love he had for his wife Kit, his children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren, his extended family, his community, his country and his God.
Here are some of the details about the man. He was born in 1917 in Pennsylvania, the second of ten children. He earned his Master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. He found the love of his life, Kit, in 1937 and they have been married 69 years. He has four sons, two grandsons and six great-grandchildren, so far. He served with pride in the Marine Corps in WW2 and in the Korean War.
Here are some of the details that make him a remarkable man. His father worked in the coal mines and the family lived in coal-mine provided housing. Sadly, his dad died at 36 in a mine cave-in. The family faced eviction, so Stephen (the oldest son) began to work in the mines to allow the large family to stay in the housing unit. He hated working the mines and wanted out; he hitched-hiked 15 miles to Indiana University of Pennsylvania every day after working in the mines in order to complete his college education.
He really was a family man. He cherished his wife, teaching his sons about life by loving and respecting their mother. He was always a teacher, taking time with his sons to play catch (the right way). Ditto with the grandsons: “Do it the right way.” He was firm and loving, setting the bar high and expecting their best. The family celebrated his 80th birthday (probably wondering how many more big birthdays he might have). His best gifts? The letters that his family, friends and community wrote to him, detailing the stories and impacts that he had had on their lives. Reading through these letters at his memorial brought tears and smiles, and insights into this man’s enormous impact on others.
He proudly served in the Marines. He also often worked with the military after he was discharged, providing management training. Stephen was trim enough to probably fit into his old Marine uniform, a feat and a tribute to his healthful regime throughout his life.
He swam almost every day, followed by relaxing in the hot tub. Others report that he swam AND sang every day; no one offered him a place in a “granddad band!” His favorite tune? He could be heard singing “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” his favorite tune to sing to and about his beloved Kit.
His long career spanned management training, consulting, and real estate. He worked at success.
ASTD-OC was chartered in 1969; our chapter is blessed that Stephen was one of the grandfathers of the chapter. Stephen was there in the early years to provide leadership guidance, and served as President in 1972. Past Presidents were invited to the 1999 December chapter meeting by Geri Lopker, 2000 President, in order to celebrate their support throughout our 30 year history. Stephen and Kit attended almost all of the December meetings since 1999, when he was just 82. Each time, he proudly stood and introduced his wife, reminded us of his age, and implored us to partner with the line manager to keep training relevant to the performer.
His legacy? It is different for everyone who knew him. One thing is certain. He will be remembered by everyone who knew him as a remarkable man, who strived to leave the world a better place.
Rest in peace, friend. Stephen J. Glass, 1917-2012.
By, Geri Lopker, President 2000
Please send any cards or condolences to Kit Glass, c/o ASTD-Orange County, 9852 W. Katella Ave. #187, Anaheim, CA 92804.