DR. BENJAMAN C. GLIDDEN
(LTCOL, USAF, RET)
October 21, 1938 January 19, 2021
Dr. Benjaman C. Glidden (LtCol, USAF, Ret), passed to the Lord on 19 January, 2021 in Wichita, Kansas. He was surrounded by his children and they held him as he departed. He was 82.
Ben was born on a farm in Alba, Michigan, in 1938 where he learned the art of farming, the joys of hunting and fishing, and graduated top of his class in high school. He loved Alba, but grasped a greater world around him. He graduated from West Point in the class of 1961, before the Air Force Academy existed, and cross commissioned to the Air Force to become a navigator. Serving in the C-130, he saw combat in Viet Nam, tours in Spain, Panama, Thailand, and domestically; all which expanded his view of the United States and the world. Once again, he was looking towards the horizon for his greater impact on the world.
Ben Glidden's real talent was enhancing and guiding the education of others; he was always supportive of goals and mentored many. He earned a Master's in Public Administration, a Master's in Library Science, and a Doctorate of Public Administration while attending Harvard and the University of Pittsburgh. He received tenure at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and taught Political Science and Public Administration from 1973 until 1982. He retired as the USAFA Director of Libraries and as an Assistant Professor of Political Science. He retired from active duty in 1981 and remained in Colorado Springs becoming a stockbroker/financial planner. He was elected to the Colorado Springs District 11 School board and served on it from 1983 through 1991, eventually becoming its president. He dabbled in local politics, throwing his hat into a couple of elections. His true dedication was supporting local organizations focused on serving the needs of children such as the Pikes Peak Kiwanis and the Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD) of Colorado Springs. He served on the CPCD board from 1996 through 2002. His passion for helping and mentoring young adults onto successful paths was central to his beliefs.
Further still, Ben was a classic fixture in Colorado Springs. He socialized with his investment club, whistled while he walked, and was always on the lookout for helping others. He was someone you never minded spending time with. Ben is survived by his wife Kathy of Wichita, KS, daughter Heather Glidden Sturtz (Jet) of Fairfax Station, VA, son Lance Glidden (Jaci) of Germantown, TN, daughter Hope Glidden Hartman (Wink) of Wichita, KS, 10 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.
Interment will be in Alba, Michigan where life started for Ben and the values of the simple farm life in upstate Michigan permeated through his life's work and his family. To honor Ben, memorial donations may be made to the scholarship program at the Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD) of Colorado Springs.
We shall all miss Grandpa Ben. Godspeed.
Published in The Gazette from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, 2021.