In Memory of Tom Glennon

Brian Gongol

It was about 20 years ago that I last had the privilege of knowing Tom Glennon as one of the adult leaders of my own Boy Scout troop. But in catching up more on his life and service since then, I was delighted to see that his dedication continued.

Two things about Tom resonate with me all this time later. The first was his infinite patience with the boys who just needed more time and explanation to understand something new. He was never keen on boys just horsing around or shirking their duties. But when a kid was trying -- really trying -- and just needed some extra encouragement to pull him through, Tom was a reservoir of patience and understanding.

The other thing that strikes me is actually what I didn't know. I never knew what he did at work. I had no idea whether he was an electrician or a circuit court judge or an investment banker. It simply never entered the conversation. I knew some of the lighter things that contributed to his personality -- like his allegiance to the Cubs or the fact he was color-blind. I knew he cared deeply about things like family and service.

But I had absolutely no idea what he did Monday through Friday during the workday. And I didn't know it because Tom never made his role as an adult leader and mentor about himself. He made everything about the service, not about the servant.

It was an honor and a privilege to have him as an adult leader and one worth looking up to. The world is certainly better for his time passing through.