John Glennon left an impact on the Key Peninsula and was always looking for ways to help others. Photo courtesy Glennon family

During the second wave of the Normandy invasion on Omaha Beach, Boatswain’s Mate Glennon’s tank landing ship was sunk and he and the other Marines aboard had to swim to shore. While in England to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of D-Day, Glennon was asked to join a receiving line for the Queen Mother, who was recognizing the veterans for their service. His picture shaking the Queen Mother’s hand was circulated in several newspapers in the U.S.

For about 20 years, John Glennon, Sr. volunteered at the Key Peninsula Community Services Food Bank. He was a bread pick-up van driver on Sundays and during the week he unloaded products and re-boxed them. After the boxes were emptied, they had to be packaged a certain way in order to fit back into the van and be reusable when they were returned to the store.

“He was a working guy when he was here,” says KPCS Director Penny Gazabat. “He said over and over and over to the volunteers, ‘There’s only one way to put these boxes together and you better do it right—or you’ll be hearing from me.’”

From Chuck West, Division Chief of Technical Services for KP Fire Dept.:
“John was a person who understood the joy that you get from helping other people and to that, he gave it his all.  He was always happy, he was always helping someone.”

From Greg Calahan, owner O’Callahan’s Pub and Grill:
“This is one of John’s favorites that he would always greet me with at O’Callahan’s, ‘Erin go Braugh,’ meaning Ireland Forever. Also he would always toast a drink with ‘sláinte’ or ‘cheers.’ Tweed Meyer has painted a picture of John and it will be hung over the bar to the left of the chief.”

From Wally Johnson, owner Homeport Restaurant:
“He would say, ‘Wally, my Lad, I think we need to talk. I’ve gotten a hold of the people at the Toys for Tots, we’re going to have one hell of a Christmas program.’ This man lived for making kids happy. It didn’t matter how much of anything—time, money, or support—this man would try and do it by himself if no one was around. Thank God we had John Glennon. We will miss you John.”

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