John William Glynn, age 73, passed away at his home near Ellendale, April 25, 2017 after a one-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
John was born to Wesley and Eleanor (Christensen) Glynn on August 22, 1943 in Austin, MN. At the age of 10, he spent a summer fighting polio at the Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis. He graduated from Austin High School and went on to Hamline University where he played football and earned a B.A. degree in English. After college he accepted a teaching position at Ellendale-Geneva High School and also coached B-squad football. In 1966 John was drafted into the U.S. Army and served two years in Vietnam. He returned to teaching and coaching after being honorably discharged.
John retired from teaching after spending 35 years at Ellendale-Geneva High School. On April 1, 1978, John married Kathleen Hudson Vangen at First Lutheran Church in Ellendale.
John loved music, especially Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and all kinds of jazz. John also loved doing the New York Times crossword every day. He split hundreds and hundreds of cords of wood with a maul and wedges. He especially enjoyed his Friday Club Friends. He had many dogs and cats over the years, especially his beloved dog ‘Pepper.’
John was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; stepchildren, Chip Vangen (Vikki), Kara Vangen, Mitchell Vangen (Lori) and Michelle Vangen; and grandchildren, Mari Vangen, Brady Vangen, Zac Vangen (Lindsey), Carly Radke, Kayla Vangen (Cody). He was known as “Papa John” by great grandson, Grant Stuart Vangen. He is also survived by his brother, Greg Glynn; nephew, Brendan (Judy) and great nephew, Aiden; sister-in-law, Isabella Wilken; as well as many special cousins.
He was much loved by his dogs, cats, family members, and all who knew his kind and gentle ways.
John was steadfast in not wishing to have a formal funeral service. There will be a time for friends, family, and the community to gather in celebration of John’s life from 3-7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at the Ellendale Community Center with a time for memory sharing at 5 p.m. Military honors will be accorded by the Ellendale Veterans Organization.
Memorials preferred to the Homestead Hospice House of Owatonna and the Steele County Humane Society.