Des Moines

Thomas Martin Glenn was born October 16, 1938 in Perry, Iowa. He died August 7, 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was the youngest of the 12 children of Anastasia Rose White Glenn and Francis Glenn.

Tom was educated in St. Patrick’s Elementary and High Schools in Perry. He earned his BS degree in Political Science from Loras Collage, Dubuque, IA, his MS in Political Science and his Doctor of Education from Drake University, Des Moines, IA. He also held an Iowa Permanent Teaching Certificate.

Tom married the late Sharon Kathryn Bolender in 1961, and they had five children. He married Twila Sauer Young in 1990.

Tom enlisted in the Marine Corps following college and began his teaching career upon leaving the Marines in 1961. He taught at every level of education, from elementary through graduate school. There was a special place in his heart for his junior high students and for his Drake international students.

Tom had worked at the Des Moines Firestone plant during his undergraduate years, and although he loved teaching, there came a time when his “family outgrew his income.” He returned to Firestone full time in the late sixties as a proud member of the North End janitorial crew. It was during his time at Firestone that he became active with the United Rubber Workers Local 310 (later the United Steel Workers).

Tom took a union leave of absence in 1981 to embark upon his career as a labor advocate within the various parts of the Federal and State governments, working at various times for the AFL-CIO, the Iowa Federation of Labor, and the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor. He was a co-founder of the non-profit Iowa Labor Institute for Workforce Development.

In 1992, President Bill Clinton appointed Tom to serve as the U. S. Secretary of Labor’s Personal Representative for the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. He loved traveling these states and meeting his brother and sister workers. Since his “Sec Rep” office was in Kansas City, he also enjoyed indulging his taste for bar-be-que and piano jazz.

In 1993, Tom joined the faculty of Drake University’s College of Business and Public Administration, where he taught a variety of courses as, in his words, “the token labor rep in the Management Department.”

Governor Terry Branstad appointed Tom to the Iowa State Board of Education, and he served on the Lt. Governor’s Committee on Diversity at the request of Joy Corning. He was active in Democratic Party politics and worked throughout his life for progressive candidates and causes.

Tom retired for the last time in 2008 and enjoyed volunteering with the Iowa Reading and Information Service for the Blind (IRIS). The delight of his retirement was his grandchildren, for whom his love and pride knew no bounds.

Tom is survived by his sisters Patricia Whelchel and Ruth Lewis, his wife Twila, and his five children and their families:

Daughter Anastasia Glenn Bradley and Jeff Bradley and their family: Dana (Brandon) Nordine, Beckett and Adrie; Jamie (Afton) Bradley, Jayde; Joey Bradley (Casey-LynnGifford), Venessa Statler, Quintin, Nicklas, Quincy, Gabrielle, and Calle; Dustin Bradley (Raven Major), Liam; Jonah Bradley; Darcy (Jeremy) Brand, Hally.

Daughter Michelle Glenn Baas and Steven Baas and their family: Jared Brees, Nicholas Baas, Stephanie (Kyle) Campbell, Kamryn, Sophie, PJ and Shea; Melissa Baas.

Daughter Angela Glenn and Shane Roberts and their family: Zaakary Barnes; Rachal Glenn; Gage Roberts.

Son Mark Glenn and Heather Light and their family: Nicholas Glenn; Patrick Glenn.

Daughter Jennifer Glenn and her family: Jebediah (Jessica) Hogbin and their children Maxwell and Evelyn Grace; Lucas Alan Reynolds; Joshua Reynolds; Michelle (Adam) Ward and their children, Haidin, Zachariah, Christian, and Reilly

Tom was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Mary Ridgeway, Frances Stebbins, Anastasia Glenn and Rose Stebbins; brothers James, Patrick, Maurice, Charles, and John.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 11, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church, 1001 Pleasant Street in Des Moines with burial to follow at Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery. A wake will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, August 10, 2018, at Hamilton’s Funeral Home, 605 Lyon Street, Des Moines.

Memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s name to Orchard Place, IRIS and First United Methodist Church.

Service Details

Friday, August 10, 2018
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Saturday, August 11, 2018
10:00 am
First United Methodist Church
1001 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery
Des Moines, Iowa
Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
(515) 289-2442

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