John Glinka

John L. Glinka, Lawrence, KS


John Louis Glinka, 92, died July 28, 2012 at Brandon Woods, Lawrence. Private inurnment will be at Pioneer Cemetery.

Born May 24, 1920 to Polish immigrants Leon and Mary Stadnik Glinka, John grew up in KCK’s Strawberry Hill neighborhood during the Great Depression, learning the values of family, community, education, and thrift. After Leon died, John and his six sisters did what they could to help support the family. He worked at A&P while attending school, graduating Wyandotte High in 1938. During WWII, he served with the 1069th Signal Corps Service Group in Guadalcanal, the Solomons, and the Philippines from January 29, 1942 until October 11, 1945.

John married Charlotte Ellen Rabb May 28, 1946. They settled in Lawrence and John began his career in the KU Libraries mailroom. He completed a BSE/Library Science from Emporia State Teachers College in 1948 and a MS/Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois in 1962. He was Associate Dean of the Libraries when he retired in 1984 in order to care for Charlotte, who had ALS. She died April 11, 1994. They had two children: a daughter, Charlee, and a son, John “Johnny” Lawrence. Johnny died March 10, 2012.

John married Almeda Ann Drake May 4, 1996. She survives of the home. He is also survived by a daughter, Charlee Glinka and husband Greg Shipe, Eudora; stepson Mike Drake and wife Gail, Tonganoxie; stepdaughter Cheryl Mosher and husband Kirk, Rio Rancho, NM; stepdaughter Marcy Tutor and husband Kenny, Port Orange, FL; stepgranddaughter Jolene McNett, Basehor; and several nieces and nephews. His parents and sisters all predeceased him.

A bibliophile, John had a lifelong love of libraries. He held a lifetime membership in the American Library Association and could frequently be found in the company of books. He also enjoyed music of all kinds and of late was known to play a mean harmonica. He was one of the founding members of DCARC in 1956 (now ARC of Douglas County) and remained committed to the needs of his son throughout his life. He may be best remembered for his stories and humor, particularly his mastery of the art of punning. “A dog’s wretch must exceed his gasp, or what’s a heavin’ for?”

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested in John’s name to Cottonwood, Inc. or the KU Endowment Association and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary – 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS  66044.

2 Condolences

  1. Betty Banks on August 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Ann, It was sad to hear of John’s death. He was a gentleman of the old school and I enjoyed passing him mornings when I was on may way to Wescoe and he was out with your dog. The good old days! My sympathy to you. Betty

  2. Edie De Avila on August 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Dearest Charlee and Family,

    My mother Edith, one of John’s younger sisters, always looked up to John. Despite living in California and not seeing him, she often spoke to me about the intelligence and mischievous humor that characterized him when they were children. I certainly see those qualities in his photo.
    I learned from him as a teenager, when he took me and my Mom and Dad on a tour of “his” library. His modesty and self-deprecation amid the vast institution and its departments that he was in charge of showed me how a good man handles power. On that tour, he made me so comfortable that I eventually entered library science myself.
    A wonderful man. It was my honor to know him, and to call him Uncle.
    Cousin Edie

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