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Ralph Glenn

October 15, 1926 ~ May 12, 2017 (age 90)
RALPH VERNON GLENN, 90 LAKELAND - Ralph Vernon Glenn, 90, husband of the late Gaye Ruth King Glenn, went to be with the Lord on May 12, 2017, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Born October 15, 1926 in Russell County, Virginia, he was the son of the late Else White and Ruby Tate Glenn. Ralph grew up on his family's farm with his 5 siblings and parents in Hansonville, Virginia during the Great Depression. He worked on the farm and attended school in a one-room schoolhouse, where he met Gaye Ruth King, the love of his life and future wife, in first grade. At the very early age of 14, Ralph left his family farm to work at a paper mill to earn money so his family could survive during the Great Depression. Then, in 1942, at the age of 16, Ralph was determined to help America fight World War II, as did his older brother Thurman. Finally, with his mother's consent, the Army let him in under aged, wherein he served honorably and valiantly in the European Theater of the War in France and Germany in the 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division. Ralph was never injured in the war, unfortunately his brother received lifelong disabilities. Ralph was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and finally, the Army of Occupation Medal. All during his time in the war, Ralph sacrificed and sent his money to his mother to help raise the children, living only on the rations supplied by the Army. Upon his return to America after the war, on December 10, 1946, Ralph married his life-long childhood sweetheart, Gaye Ruth King. They remained married for 55 years, during which they were blessed to have and raise 3 beloved children: Judy, Ruth, and Larry. Ralph then began a career in the automotive industry with Ford Motor Company in Virginia, where he found his passion. While with Ford, he developed great relationships with people at the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Management recognized his leadership and gifted relationship building skills and asked him to join the company. Ralph greatly respected Firestone and its people, so he decided to join the company if they would send him to Florida, and they gave him his Lakeland opportunity. Ralph, with the team, built the store into one of the more successful stores in the US, acquiring a great reputation all the way to the company's headquarters in Akron, Ohio, where national management approached him to aid them in many other duties, including being a turn- around specialist for troubled stores, creating employee training methods, and hire and train personnel for new store openings. He was constantly recognized for his superior performance in all assignments. Ralph's strong legacy is his family members and friends. The mantra he often recited was, 'I love people, all people.' Ralph was renowned for his depression-era and military hardened work ethic, his willingness to sacrifice, and his respect, loyalty and honor. Also, his legacy is the unknown numbers of young people that he hired and trained over the years, who then went on to have wonderful careers, lives and families. Most of them have also gone on to take the same things Ralph taught them to the next generation. He has received many calls, letters, and visits over the years from people all over the U.S. who would tell him 'thank you for all you have done for me.' Many told him, 'You are the father I never had.' Ralph would tell them 'always work to make other people's lives better, that is all I want you to do.' He loved people, and they knew it. Ralph retired in 1980, he and his wife enjoyed fishing, camping, and traveling, but their true passion was family and friends. Ralph is survived by daughters, Judy Register (John), Ruth Kimble (Ken), and son Larry Glenn, Sr. (Joanne); 5 grandchildren, Kimberly Connahey (Tim), Alan Kimble (Amy), Larry Glenn, Jr. (Margaret), Daniel Kimble (Tiffany), and Jaclyn Glenn Mann (Michael); 9 great grandchildren; his brother Robert Glenn (Martha), and sisters Kelly Araujo (Henry), and Pauline Oney (Bill). Ralph was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Gaye Ruth, his brothers, Thurman Glenn (Clyde), and Foy Glenn (Faye), and his sister Amma Davis (Buddy). The Glenn family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and nursing assistants who gave so much of themselves at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Ralph was mostly in the M-3 unit. We are humbled by all the love, care, and compassion. We feel so blessed that our father was in your loving care. You all gave us strength, hope and comfort. May God bless you richly. Visitation will be 6 P.M. -8:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at Lakeland Funeral Home, 2125 South Bartow Highway, Lakeland, FL 33801. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at Lakeland Funeral Home followed by interment. Condolences may be sent to the family at -

 Service Information

May 17, 2017

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Lakeland Funeral Home
2125 South Bartow Hwy
Lakeland, FL 33801

May 18, 2017

11:00 AM
Lakeland Funeral Home Chapel
2125 S. Bartow Hwy
Lakeland, FL 33801


Lakeland Memorial Gardens
2125 South Bartow Road
Lakeland, FL 33801

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