CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — “He put public service first — whether it was on council or in the community,” Mayor Randy Gorske said of Howard Glenn.

Glenn, 78, a Cambridge Springs Borough Council member who served in three different decades, died Monday afternoon at Meadville Medical Center.

He sustained a shoulder fracture, cracked pelvis, and head and facial injuries when he fell last Thursday afternoon while walking toward his home, according to his family.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be under the direction of Hatheway-Tedesco Funeral Home of Meadville.

“At a time in his life when most people are not willing to step out and be part of the public process — he was,” said Gorske.

Glenn had been active in the Cambridge Springs community since moving back to the area in the early 1980s following his retirement as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Glenn first was on borough council in the 1980s and later in the early 1990s. In his 70s, he successfully ran again for council in 1999 and was just re-elected to a third consecutive term in November.

However, politics were just one part of his life.

“He was always there,” Mary Glenn said of her husband’s willingness to help others.

Glenn was a member of Cambridge Area Volunteer Ambulance Service, serving stints as vice president and secretary of the organization, said Mary, who had been married to Howard since 1989. “He and I always would work on the (fundraising) dinners, too,” she said.

Glenn was one of the originators of Helping Hands of Cambridge Springs in the 1980s. The organization helps distribute food to needy families and provide utility bill assistance.

Glenn also served as a correspondent for The Meadville Tribune, writing a folksy column about Cambridge Springs and its happenings. He previously had written for the former Independent-Enterprise, a weekly newspaper that had served the Edinboro and Cambridge Springs areas.

Mary Glenn met her husband at Lost Lanes, Cambridge Springs’ bowling center, in 1987, during a moonlight bowling session for couples.

Both Mary and Howard returned to Cambridge Springs about the same time but didn’t know each other.

“I didn’t have a partner,” Mary said. “The (bowling alley) owner talked to Howard and Howard said, ‘I don’t know any ladies.’ The owner said, ‘Don’t worry. I have a lady (without a partner). I need you.’ ”

“We became good friends and one thing just led to another,” she said of how they came to marry.

Glenn was born in Meadville in April 1928, but was raised in Cambridge Springs and graduated from Cambridge Springs High School, said his wife.

When the first charter was awarded to Cambridge Springs Boy Scout Troop 235, in 1942, Glenn was a member of the first group, Emil Samec, unit commissioner for the Washington Trails District of the French Creek Council of Boy Scouts, recalled Monday.

Following high school graduation, Glenn worked about two years in the Brookville area at a light bulb plant in the late 1940s before visiting an uncle in Washington, D.C. The uncle advised him to submit a resume for a federal job before returning home, said his wife.

Glenn got hired initially as a typist and rose up through the ranks.

With Glenn’s passing, Cambridge Springs has lost one of the borough’s main goodwill ambassadors, according to friends.

“If anybody was — I would say Howard,” said Mayor Gorske when asked if Glenn could be considered “Mr. Cambridge Springs.”

“He was friendly and outgoing, always good at trying to get people to talk,” said Gorske, who had served with Glenn on borough council since 1999. “He was thoughtful and approachable.”

“He loved people,” said Tom Brown, another fellow councilman who knew Glenn for years. “We could shoot the breeze for hours about anything we wanted.”

Those conversations ranged from current events of the time to borough business.

“We could disagree, but agree to disagree,” Brown said.

Richard Massung, a former chief of Cambridge Springs Volunteer Fire Department, knew Glenn as was someone who was easy to talk to and was interested in people. “He tried to know what was going on,” said Massung. “He loved Cambridge Springs.”

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at

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