Glenn E. Knierim, beloved husband of Gloria (Kehl) Knierim, died on May 9, just ten days short of his 90th birthday. A selfless family man and pillar of the community, he persevered through Alzheimer’s Disease for a decade with characteristic courage.
Glenn was born on May 19, 1930 in Schenectady, NY to Charles and Doris (Chase) Knierim. During his teenage years, he lived with a special aunt, Helen Borst, and it was she who made college possible for him. Glenn and Gloria met while both were students at Cornell University and began 68 years of happy marriage shortly after graduation. They settled in Simsbury in 1955, where they quickly put down roots and turned their attention to raising a family.
Early in his career, while working at Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Glenn felt called to the legal profession. He enrolled in the evening division at UConn Law School and graduated after four years of juggling job, young children and classes. He became judge of the Simsbury Probate Court in 1966, a role he held for 32 years, along with serving as the administrative head of the Probate Court system from 1973 to 1989. He was a dedicated public servant who found great reward in helping families during the most difficult times of their lives.
Glenn was especially loyal to his chosen community of Simsbury and volunteered his time to countless civic and church activities. He served on town’s Planning and Ethics Commissions, chaired the committee that wrote the town’s first charter, and was named a Hometown Hero in 1987. He was a Trustee of St. Mary’s Church and the Foundation for Advancement of Catholic Education. Glenn held numerous leadership positions in the bar and served on the executive board of the National College of Probate Judges, which bestowed its highest honor on him in 1989. He served in the Air Force from 1954-56, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. Glenn and Gloria were both active in Cornell alumni affairs and frequently attended reunions.
Glenn was fair, honest, kind, and born to lead. He made lifelong friends in all of his endeavors. He was a mentor to many and a gifted teacher and writer. Above all, he was devoted to family and would drop whatever he was doing to help when one of life’s challenges confronted a child or grandchild.
In addition to Gloria, Glenn is survived by their four children, Glenn Knierim, Jr. (Linda), Jeanne O’Brien (Paul), Lynne Donahue, and Paul Knierim (Greg); six grandchildren, Michael Knierim (Catherine), Daniel Knierim (Michele), David O’Brien (Katelyn), Kathryn O’Brien (Jorge), Erin O’Brien (Ryland) and Kelsey Donahue; and four great-grandchildren, Bode Knierim, Remy Knierim, Adelyn O’Brien and Camila Rivera, the youngest having arrived just last week.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to the many friends, neighbors and caregivers who provided exceptional comfort and support during Glenn’s illness. Burial will be private with a funeral mass planned for a future time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary’s Church, Simsbury or the McLean Fund.