August 30, 1923–December 17, 2018
Another member of the greatest generation, Harry Vincent Glades, died on December 17, 2018, at Mercy Hospital from a combination of illnesses. Harry was born on August 30, 1923, in Cherokee, Kansas, of the marriage of Vincent P. Glades and Anna E. Glades (Hughes). He attended grade school in Cherokee before moving to Galena, Kansas, where he ultimately graduated from High School, in 1940.
After graduation from High School, Harry worked at the Galena Eagle Picher Smelter briefly; until like all Americans at that time, he joined the war effort by enlisting in the Army Air Corp, which became the United States Air Force. While serving in the European Theatre, Harry became a war hero, with acts of selflessness and courage, that earned him the distinction of becoming the most decorated man in the 451st Bomb Squadron, earning numerous medals; but most significantly, the distinguished service cross, which is the nation’s highest honor, second only to the congressional medal of honor. His heroism and honor are unknown to most people in his life; as the case of most of the other heroes of that generation. He never allowed accolades, or recognition, of his sacrifices.
Upon return from the service, with the aid of the GI bill, he began his education at Kansas Teachers College, at Pittsburg, Kansas; where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree and later a master’s degree in Education; and, finally, an E.Ds. Degree, at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. After starting college, he married Norma J. Langford on August 8, 1947. He and Norma had three (3) children, all of whom survive him. They are: Keith V. Glades of Joplin, Missouri; Vicki Hoffman, and her husband Scott of Baxter Springs, Kansas; and Phillip A. Glades and Anita K. Oakes of Joplin, Missouri.
Harry was predeceased by his wife, Norma J. Glades on October 26, 2005.
Harry is survived by seven (7) grandchildren: Jennifer Grant, Brian V. Glades, Alison Eaton, Kelli Glades, Holly High, John Glades, and Kwinna Slade; and, 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and friends who he held in the highest regard. In addition to his parents, Harry was pre-deceased by his dear brother, Edwin W. Glades, and his wife, Reba; and, all of the brothers and sisters, Langford.
After graduation from college, Harry was a chemist for the Spencer Chemical Company; and in 1963 became a guidance counselor with the Joplin R-8 School District working until he retired in 1988. He became a born-again Christian as a young teen and was a member of the Forest Park Baptist Church in Joplin, Missouri. Harry was an intellectual who was able to dazzle you with his knowledge, if you only asked. He never displayed any ego about anything; and was regarded by all of his family and friends with as a true gentleman.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, December 22, 2018, at 2:30 p. m. at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery, where Harry will be laid to rest; next to his wife, Norma Glades. Steve Patterson, minister, and family friend will officiate.