Glenn A. Stephens
Daily Reporter-Herald, The (Loveland, CO)
Friday, February 12, 2010
Glenn was a fourth-generation Coloradan, born in Fort Collins, Colo., on Sept. 11, 1926, and left to be with the Lord Jesus on Feb. 8, 2010.
During the Great Depression years he grew up in Denver, Henderson and Brighton. He and his brother, Ernie, would wait at the railroad refueling stop in Brighton to collect whatever coal had been spilled by the boiler men so they could heat their home.
Glenn graduated early from Brighton High School . at age 17 to join the U.S. Navy and serve his country at war. He was a Water Tender (Boiler Tech) on the USS Minneapolis CA-36, which earned 17 battle stars in the Pacific Theatre in World War II, the most of any ship in the war.
Upon Japanese surrender, Glenn stayed with the "Minnie" as occupation forces in Tsing Tao, China.
After the war, Glenn worked as a ranch cowboy on shipmate Bill Morris' ranch in Kerrville, Texas. Following that, he attended the Colorado School of Trades and graduated as a licensed gunsmith. In addition he obtained his private pilot license and partnered with Ovid Bloom and Harley King to purchase a plane and head to Alaska for a 10-year series of adventures.
During his years in Alaska, Glenn called Cordova home. He worked on commercial fishing boats; hunted Alaska coastal brown bear; flew their plane in the bush on predator control; served in the Fish and Game Service patrolling Prince William Sound; along with U.S. marshal duty.
He married Lorraine Helen Zell on Jan. 19, 1957, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Denver, Colo. They spent a year in Cordova before moving back to Colorado, making their home in Fort Collins, Colo., with a short stay in Waverly, Iowa, to be near Lorraine's family while son Brian was born in October 1959.
Upon return to Colorado, Glenn worked for Graves Dairy in LaPorte, Colo. About the time daughter Linda Kay (Clancy) Stephens was born in Fort Collins in February of 1962, Glenn went to work as a machinist for Woodward Governor Co. in Fort Collins, where he worked for 24 years until his retirement in 1985.
Glenn worked dry placer gold claims near Quartzite, Ariz., bringing numerous friends and family along to share the adventure. He continued to be an avid hunter and supplied the family table with venison.
Some fun family times were spent taking jeep trails to explore old ghost towns, fishing, hunting, camping and rock hunting in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
For 40 years Glenn owned the Rolling Hills Gun Shop and was known in the area as a premier custom gun maker.
His interests included muzzleloading rifles, and he made his own "possibles" and elk-hide buckskins. He formed the "Overland Trail Fur Company" mountain man outfit in the early 1970s, participating in shooting events and rendezvous, winning first place in the Beecher Island muzzleloader shoot one year.
He machined a special English musket cap nipple for better ignition than standard percussion caps, eliminating misfires. He simply gave his invention to Thompson Center Arms.
As an avid student of history and pilot, Glenn had a deep interest in the air war in Europe in WWII. He took writing classes at Colorado State University, where he was one of the only students to have his first effort at writing published in a magazine.
After years of research, his first book, titled "Kriegies, Caterpillars and Lucky Bastards," was published and told the stories of the pilots and airmen who served in the 8th Air Force Bomb Group.
Glenn's second book, "Faces and Phases" of the USS Minneapolis, was dedicated to the men who served aboard the Minnie. All proceeds from the sale of the book went to the "Sunshine Fund" he set up to help shipmates in need.
For many years Glenn served as secretary of the USS Minneapolis Association, publishing a monthly newsletter, organizing reunions, seeking out "lost" shipmates and helping many men receive medals and awards due them but somehow never awarded.
Photography was another skill Glenn excelled at, and a picture he took of a newly hatched gosling in Alaska in 1952 won a local photo contest in the 1990s.
Glenn was well liked and well loved by all who knew him, known for serving others and putting their needs before his own.
He selflessly cared for Lorraine for 12 years while she was an invalid from a paralyzing stroke. He worked grueling hours and conditions for low pay at Woodward to provide for his family and allow his children to have greater opportunities than he had.
He passed on timeless conservative Christian principles to his family and friends: honesty, integrity, strong work ethic, honor, your word is your bond, service to others, taking care of your property, not being wasteful and taking care of others' property better than your own.
Glenn was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine; and brother, Ernie; and is survived by son Brian Stephens and wife Danielle of Loveland, Colo.; daughter Linda Clancy and husband Skip of Loveland; grandson Staff Sgt. Brandon E. Kama'i serving in the U.S. Air Force in Okinawa, Japan; granddaughter Shea Stephens of Ewa Beach, Hawaii; stepgrandchildren Stacey and Jake Doherty of Loveland; beloved nieces Cherie Mock and husband Ed and son and daughter Steve and Rebecca Richman of Parker, Colo.; Carolyn Canestrini, husband Rich and son Greg of Rock Springs, Wyo.; nephew Steve Stephens, wife Diana and sons Shane and Patrick of Fresno, Colo.; and niece Lynette Swain. Also loved ones left behind are Glenn's best friend and brother Tony Jimenez of Cheyenne, Wyo.; special lady friend Dorothy Spencer, currently residing in Wisconsin; good neighbors Sally McClellan, Marie Gulyas and many others from Casa Grande Condominiums who did so much to help Glenn with many daily tasks.
Glenn's wishes are to be placed in a plain pine wood casket. He will be interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colo., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, approximately 1 p.m., joining wife Lorraine, who is already waiting for him there.
A viewing will take place at Goes Funeral Care in Fort Collins on Sunday, Feb. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at Peace with Christ Lutheran Church in Fort Collins on Monday, Feb. 15, at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions be made to the Glenn Stephens Memorial Fund.
Please go to www.goes funeralcare.com to sign the guest book and express your thoughts and memories of Glenn.