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Annie Glenn did her own kind of soaring

Annie Glenn was far more than just the wife of a hero. Her own courage and determination shown brightly, too.

Glenn, 100, died last week of complications from COVID-19. Upon learning of her passing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine summed her up well: “She represented all that is good about our country.”

She was the wife of the late John Glenn, who, after serving as a Marine combat pilot in World War II and the Korean War, became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. He went on to serve Ohio in the U.S. Senate.

The two were high school sweethearts, who married at the height of World War II. A gifted musician, she had been offered a scholarship to The Juilliard School, but she turned it down to stay with her husband.

After supporting him through many years of military service, she was thrown into the limelight in 1962 when he became an astronaut.

Glenn used her new fame not for herself, but to help others. From childhood, she had battled a stutter. She became an advocate for other people with communication disorders, serving on the boards of numerous organizations. She also worked hard to help victims of child abuse and in higher education.

DeWine also referred to her as “our most beloved Ohioan.” The description was merited. Glenn was admired and loved by many because of the unflagging support without which her husband may well have been unable to become the hero he was.

She was esteemed, too, because she overcame adversity and achieved fame used not to enrich herself in any way — but to help other people.

Annie Glenn soared, too. Godspeed to her, as she rejoins her beloved.

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