Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Jerry Accomplished

  Jerry Philip Glanzer 
May 14, 1954 - September 8, 2012

Last week I attended an especially moving memorial services, one in memory of Jerry Philip Glanzer, age 52, held at the Zion Mennonite Church where I served as pastor from 1965 to 1988. Jerry was a quiet and faithful member of that congregation for many years, and was described at his funeral by Pleasant View Home Chaplain David Gullman as a special kind of “Christian mystic,” one who knew and loved God in a way many of us seem incapable of. As a young man he wept with joy at his baptism and his face lit up with delight at each celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

But Jerry left another legacy. He should be remembered as the impetus for founding of at least three institutions to benefit the disabled, Indian Creek Foundation of Souderton, Pennsylvania, the Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham, also known as the Op Shop, and the early beginnings of what is now Friendship Industries of Harrisonburg.

Of course we could say that it was really his father, educator and pastor Paul J. Glanzer, who was a key pioneer in helping develop these enterprises. But without Jerry, who joined his Huron, South Dakota, family on May 14, 1954, then made up of Paul and Lola Bowers and their sons David, James and Dennis, this may never have happened.

In the absence of programs for his special needs son, Paul worked tirelessly with others to provide education and training for the disabled, starting with a small class of students in North Dakota, and then worked to develop programs for Jerry and others in eastern Pennsylvania and in the Shenandoah Valley, where the family eventually settled.

Here are the three institutions named, with a link to their respective websites. Jerry would want us to support them.

Indian Creek Foundation
420 Cowpath Road
Souderton, PA 18964

The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham

620 Simms Avenue
Harrisonburg, VA 22802


Friendship Industries
801 Friendship Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
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