Betty Stahl Glower ’57 passed away on April 9, 2020. In 1934 Thanksgiving fell on the last rather than the fourth Thursday in November. So it was Thanksgiving morning that Betty Louise Stahl made her appearance.
The name Betty was suggested by her seven year old brother Raymond, who at that stage was in love with an older woman (probably a fourth grader) named Betty. Louise was in honor of Louise Poesch Reinhardt, sister of the new baby’s mother, who also served as godmother to the new arrival. The family was small, one boy and one girl, living in a three bedroom house on the edge of town with a large garden and even a chicken coop behind the house.
Betty’s mother gardened, growing most of the fruit and vegetables that the family consumed, and also growing flowers. The yard had been landscaped and included a gold fish pond with a center fountain. Hot days would find the lily boxes pushed aside and the neighborhood kids lolling in the pond. The yard included a clothes drying yard (no dryers then), and a run for the hunting dog that was necessary to fall hunting expeditions for rabbits and pheasants.
By the time Betty was three all of her grandparents had died, with the exception of her mother’s mother who came to live with them. The house was expanded with another bath and bedroom added and the kitchen enlarged to accommodate the extended family. Grandma Poesch had been born in Germany and came to America as a young woman. Her recollections of growing up in a different time and different country were very enriching. She taught Betty to knit in the European fashion (much speedier than the American method) and the annual quilt that Betty’s Mother and Grandmother produced set the background for Betty’s quilting in later years.
Betty’s father was trained as a machinist and worked as a machine shop foreman most of the while Betty was growing up. He owned a small farm (18 acres) about a mile north of where the family lived. At times the farm was planted in crops such as soy beans. Other times some of the acreage sported a peach orchard. This hobby farm provided the opportunity to learn to drive a tractor and run the farm implements to someone much too young to get a license to drive on the roadways. Fishing was a passion of Betty’s father so many weekends were spent with the two of them ice fishing or sitting in a small wooden outboard motor boat afloat on Lake Erie waiting for a fish to bite. Summer vacations were generally two weeks long and invariably involved driving some distance to explore the country side and, of course, to fish. As a young man Betty’s father had worked as a chauffeur (cars were a novelty then) and he always retained a passion for driving. Hot summer evenings “going for a drive” with windows opened afforded some relief from the heat…as well as a chance to reflect on the day, organize for tomorrow.
The family was Lutheran and so Betty was sent to a Lutheran elementary school. There was much emphasis on the work ethic; memorization of either hymns or Bible passages began each day. And there was music. The Lutherans are big on vocal music. Christmas Eve services were the highlight of the year with the children from the elementary school presenting a program of music. Betty also took piano lessons during this time. In high school with the Lutheran music in her background, it was quite natural to continue with vocal music singing in the school choir.
Journalism classes paved the way for becoming editor of the school newspaper, a weekly four page paper replete with an editorial. The student council gave the first taste of democracy in action, providing an opportunity to “run for election”. Betty served as secretary to the student council and was also active in a regional council of student governments. For two years Betty chaired a “magazine drive” to help the students earn money to build a new football stadium for the high school.
Antioch College was selected as the place to go to college because of its high academic reputation and because there were no sororities or fraternities allowed. Egalitarianism was the value. Antioch turned out to be an excellent choice as that is where Betty met Donald Glower ’53 who didn’t stand a chance once she’d spotted him. That led to marriage and four children and bunches of grandchildren and living happily ever after.
Along the way Betty either belonged to or organized groups of women with similar interests, be they faculty wives groups or groups of student wives. At Ohio State she belonged to the University Women’s Club and was president of that group. She worked on a committee which published a recipe book to raise money for student loans and scholarships. She organized a group of women which were using volunteers and turned that into the Volunteer Action Center which trained organizations to use volunteers wisely and heightened the public awareness of the need for volunteers.
Best friends came from bridge groups and a gourmet group of the University Women’s Club or from the group of women married to department chairmen in the College of Engineering at OSU. The nice surprise of discovering the joy of quilting also came from the University Women’s Club.
Politics and people and organizational behavior never ceased to interest Betty. As a Democrat she volunteered to help on a number of political campaigns: Celeste for governor (he won). Glenn for President (didn’t get off the ground). Stinziano for State Representative (he won for a long time.)
As one of the few Democrats in Upper Arlington, Betty worked at the elections as a judge. Travel is what you do to help you appreciate home. Betty and Don have traveled some: bunches of trips to Paris and Mexico and Canada, twice to China, Egypt and England; once to Germany, Hungary, Austria; plus all the trips around the US. Home is nicest. And how about the children? They’re the icing on the cake and what really made this all worthwhile. Growing up they were a delight because they were all so bright and kind and ethical. As adults they’re still treasured, not so much as children but as real people who are doing good things.
It must be mentioned at this point, Betty Stahl Glower, had plans to become a divorce attorney (or so she would tell her daughter). She was a business major at Antioch College, and she was looking forward to a professional career. BUT when she met Donald Glower, she rearranged her priorities.
Don and Betty had their first baby, a son she named Donald Glower Jr., which was a wonderful honor to her husband. They decided that they wanted 4 children and that is the way it was -they had two sons and two daughters.
Betty was a full time mother and supplemented the public school instructions. Her efforts produced results — two were class Valedictorian in high school graduating classes of over 750 students. The first born Donald received an MD degree from Duke University. Second born Michel received a national merit Scholarship at the end of her junior year in high school when she entered The Ohio State U under the Early Admissions program and went on to earn a PhD in real estate finance.
Leilani earned her BS and and MS degree in Mechanical Engineering, and the youngest child Jacob received all of his degrees, including the PhD in Electrical Engineering, from OSU. All are making a difference in their selected field as professional individuals.
During her stay at Antioch College she was expected to live up to the challenge of Horace Mann, President of Antioch College in the 1850s, who challenged the students to build and live their lives and “to be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for society”. Betty Glower met the challenge of Horace Mann.