Glenn Earl Mallery Sr., 98 years young of Radford, a devoted husband and American Hero took his final trip home on Jan. 28, 2017 leaving the love of his life, Elizabeth to carry on their legacy.
Glenn’s life adventure began on July 12, 1918 in Barton, West Virginia.
As a 21-year-old in 1941, Glenn was drafted into the US Army for $21 per month. He served as a supply sergeant during WWII, landing on the beaches of Normandy. A decorated veteran, he spent six months on the front line with the 18th Field Artillery unit.
When asked, he would share stories and he remembered every detail as if it was yesterday. A true patriot, Glenn always gave credit to his men. As he recalled the time on the front lines, he shared tender moments and the hardships.
From shooting at a German plane with a pistol to taking “Helmet Baths” and eating C-rations dog biscuits, he decorated trees with foil at Christmas and shared his experience sleeping outdoors in the freezing cold snow with two blankets. He ate a lot of spam with orange marmalade on it. Everything came with orange marmalade and he never ate orange marmalade again.
He vividly remembered the surrender; shared going to Hitler’s Eagle Nest and the kindness of the German people. In fact, when he got sick, they would bring him hot wine.
With a bus ticket and mustering pay of $300, he headed home to Wheeling, West Virginia but only got as far as New York when the bus driver pulled over and dropped everyone off. The drivers had gone on strike. When he asked how he was supposed to get home, the driver said, “Don’t tell me your troubles, soldier” and closed the door.
He walked and hitchhiked from New York to Wheeling.
Out of the service, he found a passion for cooking, gardening and fresh produce. Always an engaging people-person, Glenn knew no strangers. So, not surprisingly, when he saw an ad in the paper for a job, he was hired by Bob Hope and worked with him for years. When he described working for Bob, he remembered him as, “An honest man, a gentleman, and someone who really cared for others.”
The same is true of Glenn Mallery. He shared that when he visited the D-Day Memorial, he wept. His patriotism and love of his country should be an inspiration for all of us
Glenn was a compassionate, true gentleman, he was grateful for the blessings in his life- especially his sweetheart, Elizabeth. Their story began at church with an invitation for coffee. Elizabeth told him she didn’t drink coffee. He said, “You do now,” and took her by the hand. That was it. Those twinkling baby blue eyes, gentle spirit, and love of the Lord brought and kept them together and in each other’s arms for 34 years.
They enjoyed traveling across the country and to a variety of places around the world, creating memories that will comfort Elizabeth as she navigates a new world without him. They shared a strong faith. His faith and commitment to his church were evident by the way Glenn lived his life. He was never afraid of hard work and took pride in doing things to the best of his ability.
With his infectious (and sometimes mischievous) giggle and twinkle in his eye, Glenn enjoyed life. People often asked how he grew such beautiful roses. However, the roses paled in comparison to his big, beautiful heart. He lit up a room with his smile and he made you feel special.
Glenn was always impeccably dressed and according to Elizabeth, sometimes even more interested in his clothes, shoes and cologne than she was. He was fastidious when it came to all details and it wasn’t limited to his wardrobe.
He took a lot of pride in taking care of everything and everyone in his life. The door was always open and he’d greet you with a warm smile, a hug, and a gin and tonic! If he could convince you, he’d give you a little swig of his moonshine or “specially marinated” cherries and giggle as you tried it for the first time. Always ready with a joke, he celebrated life.
Glenn’s life was a myriad of experiences. With so many memories and lives touched by this amazing man, he’s left an imprint on the world and in the hearts of those who loved him.
He’ll be met in heaven by those he’s loved along the way and what a reunion it will be. We pray your journey is filled with a fraction of the love you’ve shared with us. And until we meet again, may you soar with angels and feel the peace and love of God that you so richly deserve. Elizabeth is sending you off with your special pinkie promise and sealing it with a kiss.
Elizabeth would like to extend a heart filled thank you to the Good Samaritan Hospice of Christiansburg, especially Colleen, Denise, Sabrina, and Kim. Your kindness, gentleness, love and care made a difficult transition bearable.
He is survived by the love of his life, Elizabeth, a sister, two children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and dear friends; Trudy Hoff and Mike and Kathie Fontaine, the Clemems Clan, and other extended family and neighbors on Sawgrass Way.
In lieu of flowers, Elizabeth request contributions be made to: The Captain Michael L. Hoff “Santa Mick” Endowment Fund for Child Life: Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughter, 601 Children’s Lane, Norfolk, VA 23507 (757) 668-7070.
Glenn’s Celebration of Life was held at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church (600 Prices Fork Rd. Blacksburg, VA 24060 (540) 951-1003) on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow at the church.
The Mallery family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford.