Lawrence Clay Glenn was born January 16th, 1929 in Cunningham, Kansas. He was the eldest of six children born to James Edgar Glenn and Marguerite Pearl (Northrop) Glenn. Clay grew up playing and working on the family farms and ranches with his father and grandfather. He often told stories of driving teams to plant feed, riding out to the pasture to bring the cows home, or playing Andy-Over with a ball and his brothers in the summer. During the school year, Clay left home early to drive the school bus and pick up students, before attending classes himself and finally, graduating from the eighth grade.
Clay was too young to join the war, and spoke of the need for the young men be responsible for the farms while the older men were off to war. He discovered an aptitude for engine repair and decided to become a mechanic. All spare metal was being used during the war effort, and Clay had to petition the local war board for approval to purchase his first set of tools. This experience stayed with him and Clay took great pride in high quality workmanship; many times throughout his career he was honored for his excellence and expertise.
Clay’s story is incomplete without mentioning Pauline; who entered his life when he was 14, and she was 13. Pauline was brought out to the farm to help cook for the threshing crew one July, and their friendship grew over the course of three harvest seasons before they finally exchanged rings. Clay and Pauline were married when he was 18, and she was 17 in Brighton, Colorado on December 17th, 1947. Both were too young to marry without their parent’s consent, and their story of driving back and forth between Kansas and Colorado obtaining parent signatures and a promise ring has become legendary with the passage of time.
Clay and Pauline began married life in Kansas farming, ranching, and working as a mechanic. To this union four children were born: Dwayne A., Gary Dean, Diana Kay, and Myra Jo Anne. Clay and Pauline attended a revival when he was 21, and he decided to commit his life to the Lord. From that point forward, Clay made church a family focus and sharing his joy in Christ with his children, grandchildren, and friends, eventually becoming an elder.
Clay and Pauline moved to Commerce City, Colorado in 1959 where Clay worked as a mechanic for White Motor Company, Ruan, Freightliner, B.D.Wilhelm, and ran his own garage, too. Clay and Pauline made friends with the family at the end of the block, and the Glenn family doubled with the treasured friendship of Jim and Jenny McNew, and their three children. During these years, life centered around Boy and Girl Scouts, camping trips, bowling league, Lion’s Club, youth group, water ski-ing, fishing trips, and supper with the McNews every Saturday night. Together, Clay and Pauline enjoyed marital bliss for 66 years, but were friends through it all, for 70 years.
Clay’s family history included several teachers in the past; thus, education was important to him. Clay decided to attend high school and earned his diploma at the age of 62, by attending night school. He stressed the value of an education to all, and was keenly proud of attending the college graduations of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; also, especially proud of those who used their skills to teach others. After retirement, Clay announced he had decided to become a carpenter; “When he grew up,” he said.
Glenn’s Hobby Shop was born, and Clay built decks and installed cabinetry throughout the Denver area for several years, before deciding to move to Wray. Throughout the course of his life, Clay was a: loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, elder, Boy Scout Leader, friend to many, and a helper to those in need.
In particular, Clay committed his life feeding the hungry. He helped start two food programs in the Denver area; and most recently, volunteered at the Manna Pantry. In total, Clay sorted, packaged, and delivered food to the hungry for over 30 years. When asked recently why he had felt such commitment to this idea; Clay responded he had seen the face of hunger during the Great Depression, and he never wanted anyone to know that feeling again. Clay also volunteered his services at his churches through the years, and served on the board of the 55 and Over Club, in Wray.
The summation of Clay’s presence in our lives is a person who committed himself to becoming a fisher of men. Clay was devoted to Christ, his family, education, and preventing hunger. He never met a stranger he didn’t try to help in some way. Clay fished for our minds and hearts by modeling the love of Christ through his acts of charity, prayer, careful study of the scripture, and a consistent message about the importance of education. Clay remains alive in our hearts as we leave here today when we reflect upon his role model, smile, and choose to do acts of service for others.
Clay was preceded in death by his father Edgar, mother Marguerite, step-father Glenn Hoover, brothers Bobby and Vernon Glenn, his infant son Gary, brother-in-law Gene Swingley, sister-in-law Betty Glenn, and niece Kathy Brown.
Clay is survived by: his wife, Pauline; his son Dwayne and wife Barbara, daughter Diana and husband John, and daughter Jo and husband Reg; seven grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren; brother Ray and wife Lorraine, brother Ron and wife Emma, sister Helen and husband Clayton, brother Norman and wife Mary, sister-in-law Donna; and brother-in-law Bill and wife Joy.
A Memorial service was held at the First Christian Church in Wray, Colorado on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Steve Wynkoop officiating. Inurnment will be in the Gray County Cemetery in Cimarron, Kansas. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Plains, P.O. Box 365, Wray, Colorado and Manna Pantry. Cremation was requested. Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.