Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Gary Glenn - A Valiant Christian Soldier

It is with the deepest sorrow that I learned today of the passing of my dear friend, Gary Glenn.  Gary is an inspiration to everyone who knew him, and he was a powerful instrument for good in his home state of North Carolina, in Idaho, and in his adopted home of Michigan.  He fought his public battles for the right to work, parental rights in education, morality in public institutions, religious liberty, affordable energy, and so many other worthy causes so effectively, that many of us thought that he would defeat the cancer that ravaged his body too.  Sadly, after a very long battle the cancer won, but even in this struggle, Gary showed how to face one's mortality with courage, grace, and abiding trust in God.  Gary Glenn was a patriot not unlike those who founded our country and shepherded it to greatness.  We are all in his debt.

To his wife, Annette, and the family he loved so very much, please know how much we share your grief and be assured of our love and prayers.

Former Michigan State Rep. Gary Glenn, husband of former State Rep. Annette Glenn, both of Midland, died July 27, 2023 after an extended and inspiring battle with stage 4 cancer diagnosed in 2016.

Glenn was an Eagle Scout and father of four Eagle Scouts. He did both football and track in high school and college, was captain of his high school’s conference champion track team, and captain of his high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and FCA Athlete of the Year. He was a starting wide receiver for the undefeated Lenoir-Rhyne University-Hickory Football Club, which won the North Carolina state championship and the Coal Bowl in 1979.

He earned a BA with Honors in Political Science from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 1981, winning the school’s Political Science Award. He served in the North Carolina Student Legislature and L-RU’s delegation to the National Model United Nations, and interned for former U.S. Senators James T. Broyhill and Jesse Helms of North Carolina.

Before even graduating from college, he was hired as executive director of the Idaho Freedom to Work Committee, and led a successful effort to enact that state’s Right to Work law, prohibiting compulsory union membership or financial support as a condition of employment. For his leadership of a 1986 statewide ballot campaign in which Idahoans voted overwhelmingly to keep the law, Glenn and epic Hollywood actor Charlton Heston were named co-recipients of the "Freedom Fighter of the Year" award by the Center for the Study of Market Alternatives, a free market think tank, located at the College of Idaho.

In 1983, he served as a Congressional lobbyist for the National Right to Work Committee in Washington, D.C.

He later served as executive vice president of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association and two terms as an Ada County Commissioner in Boise, Idaho, during which he also ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for U.S. Congress in 1992.

Glenn enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves during the Persian Gulf War buildup in 1990 and served eight years in the Reserves and Army National Guard, including the 1/183 Attack Helicopter Battalion in Boise, Idaho, and the 1460th Transportation Company in Midland, Michigan. He was named an honor graduate of both Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, earned two Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, and was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant in 1998.

Glenn was recruited to move to Michigan in 1998, serving as president of School Choice YES, which promoted the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s “Universal Tuition Tax Credit” proposal. Later, he served as the center’s School Choice project manager.

In 1999, Glenn became president of the American Family Association of Michigan, a Christian pro-family organization dedicated to preserving traditional Judeo-Christian values. He was a co-author and leading spokesman for a 2004 statewide referendum in which voters overwhelmingly approved a Marriage Protection Amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

In 2011, Glenn was a founding board member of the Michigan Freedom to Work coalition, which successfully advocated for Right to Work legislation in that state; in 2015, the National Right to Work Committee presented him its highest honor, the Senator Everett M. Dirksen Award for advocacy of the Right to Work principle.

In 2012, he ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for one of Michigan’s U.S. Senate seats.

In 2014, Glenn was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives representing the cities of Auburn, Linwood, Midland, and Pinconning, the village of Sanford, and thirteen suburban and rural townships in Bay and Midland counties.

His first year in office, Glenn was named “Freshman Legislator of the Year” by the Michigan Information and Research Service, the state Capitol’s oldest daily news service, which cited his leadership and impact on energy policy and civil asset forfeiture reforms.

After being elected to a second term with 60 percent of the vote in 2016, he served as Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem and chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee. He also served on the House Communications and Technology, Insurance, and Military and Veterans Affairs committees. In the 2015–2016 session, he served as vice chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, on the House Commerce and Trade, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Tax Policy committees.

He received a 100 percent score from Americans for Prosperity–Michigan and from the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. He won the American Conservatives Union's "Award for Conservative Excellence" for the most conservative voting record in the Michigan House in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2016, he was named "House Member of the Year" by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan and received NFIB's "Guardian of Small Business" award. In 2017, he was named "House Member of the Year" by the Michigan Propane Gas Association. In 2014 and 2016, the Abolitionist Roundtable, an organization of conservative African-American radio talk show personalities in the metro Detroit area, named him the recipient of its annual "Champion of Liberty Award" for his work towards economically and socially conservative policies. In 2011, he was named "Citizen of the Year" by Citizens for Community Values.

He ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate in 2018.

Gary was a member of Midland Baptist Church for over two decades, and a life member of the National Rifle Association.

Gary loved his children and grandchildren deeply. No doubt he fought hard for every extra minute possible with them before being called home. Gary was a huge Boise State Bronco fan and was blessed to attend many games. His love of history and this country had him plan and execute many family vacations to visit national parks and historical sites, which his kids jokingly called “required field trips”. He loved chess and basketball and was often found playing both with his kids. He loved a good steak. His favorite shows included Star Trek and The Chosen, having donated to the latter many times.

He and Annette were married in 1983 and had five children and nine grandchildren.

He is survived by Annette, sons Heston (Celeste), Harrison (Aleksandra), Hunter (Cat),
and Jefferson (Jacie) and by daughter Reagan Rios (Alejandro), plus grandchildren Sophia, Connie, Michael, Jubilee, Aria, Mila, Lily, Mateo, and Samuel, and his mother Johnnie Glenn Melton and sisters Susan( Phil), Janice, Lola (Bill) Terri, and Angela (Pat). Many beloved nieces, great-nieces, nephews, great-nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law and related by love Heather, Elizabeth, Cam, Savannah, Reece, Theo, Leo, and Neo.

Gary was preceded in death by his grandparents, his father, James R. Glenn, a World War II Marine who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and two more years in the Pacific theater of the war and stepfather John Melton, a WWII Navy Veteran.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00am on August 5th, 2023 at Midland Baptist Church with Pastor Jim Payne officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 5:00pm – 7:00pm on August 4th, 2023 at Smith-Miner Funeral Home and from 10:00am until time of service at the church. Immediately following the funeral service, a graveside service will take place at Midland City Cemetery. Military Honors will be under the auspices of the United States Army and Midland County Veterans.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Life Clinic 4818 Saginaw Road Midland, MI 48640 or

Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Glenn family; to share a special memory please visit

Thursday, February 23, 2023

On Maggie's First Anniversary in Heaven

Tribute to a dog. Written by George Graham Vest - c. 1855 and voiced by Ronald Reagan in a 1964 episode of Death Valley Days.

Sunday, February 19, 2023