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Glenn Keith Hossner

December 4, 1931 - June 5, 2019


Glenn Keith Hossner died Wednesday June 5th, 2019 in Salem, Oregon.   Glenn was born December 4, 1931 near Ashton, Idaho, to Ralph and Ruth (Merrick) Hossner.    He joined an older brother and sister, and eight siblings followed.

Ralph and Ruth first lived and farmed on rented acreage near Warm River, Idaho.  It was a ‘dry’ farm (no irrigation) and potatoes and snow peas were the cash crops.  They had no electricity or running water.  The boys and Grandpa George Merrick slept in the upstairs attic bedroom accessed by an outside staircase.  Keith and his siblings walked about a mile to the Warm River grade school until it burned down in the late 1930’s.

Ralph bought a farmstead about a mile west of Ashton, Idaho, in 1942.  Keith and the family moved ‘to town’ in a grand procession of horses, wagons and livestock that summer.  Keith worked hard on the farm planting potatoes, weeding potatoes, harvesting, bagging, transporting and storing potatoes, mostly all by hand.

Glenn “Keith” graduated from North Fremont High School in Ashton in 1949, where he played football, basketball, wrestling, baseball and boxing.  After a year at the University of Idaho he served in Korean conflict from 1950 to 1952 as a Combat Engineer in the 116th Army battalion building and repairing roads and bridges.  He rose to the rank of Master Sergeant and received a Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone.  This experience gave him the spark to pursue Civil Engineering as a profession.  Glenn enrolled in Boise Junior College (now Boise State University) in 1952.  While in Boise, Glenn met Patricia Bader at a Methodist Church college gathering, and they were engaged within 3 months.  In 1954, Glenn earned a 2-year Associate of Arts degree in pre-engineering and returned to the U of I where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering.  Glenn and Pat were married in Boise a few weeks later, on June 16, 1956.  Four children were born of this union:  Tamara, Timothy, Steven and Scott.

Glenn started working for the Bureau of Public Roads (later the Federal Highway Administration).  He and Pat travelled around the country in the training program for 3 years, including Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Kentucky, Illinois and Washington D.C.  In May of 1959, Glenn transferred to Oregon, settling in Salem, where he lived and worked the rest of his life.  In 1972, Glenn was nominated for Oregon Federal Employee of the Year.  His nomination was based on his record of community service, a high honor and a recognition of his dedication to create a positive impact in Salem.

Glenn led a number of camp outings for Tami’s Camp Fire Girls, and was active with the boys in Boy Scouts.  He coached basketball for the Boys Club.  Glenn got involved in Little League, coaching Tim, Steve and Scott’s baseball teams for over a decade, winning multiple league championships and managing All-Star teams.  He and Scott umpired as a team for several seasons.  Glenn supported music lessons and bought instruments.  He would rarely miss a grade school concert, high school musical, or college recital.

Glenn loved Cribbage, was an avid golfer and for many years was a season ticket holder for the Portland Trailblazers and the Seattle Seahawks.  Glenn and Pat enjoyed dancing with the ‘Friendly Squares’ square dance club during the ‘70’s and 80’s.  Glenn was very practical around the house.   He helped the kids build significant additions to their homes.

Glenn retired from the Federal Highway Administration in 1987 after 34 years of service.  He then worked for Linn County as County Engineer and Director of Public Works until retiring for good in 1992.  Following retirement, Glenn and Pat toured the country in a camper van, from the southern states to Alaska.  They vacationed in Europe in 1994.   

Glenn became a doting grandfather in 1985, welcoming the first of seven grandchildren.  Glenn was traditional and old-fashioned in many ways, but he loved and supported each of his children and grandchildren as they chose their own directions and discovered who they were.  His love and acceptance was remarkable.

Glenn and Pat separated in 1998.  Glenn met Lee DeGrandpre, and split time between Mesa,AZ and Salem, spending many hours golfing, playing bridge, cribbage and shuffleboard. Other hobbies through the years included collecting clocks, pocket watches, old coins and sports cards.  Glenn was an avid Bingo player late in life, supporting the Boys and Girls Club.  He worked the Sudoku and Crossword puzzles in the paper each day up to the end of his life.
Glenn was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005.   After treatment, he was in remission for several years.  In 2014 the cancer metastasized, but Glenn was able to live independently until early 2019.

Glenn and Pat rekindled their friendship and devotion to each other.  Pat remained faithful to the end, providing companionship and care to the end of Glenn’s life. He also rekindled his faith, which gave him a great measure of courage and peace. 

After a second aggressive cancer was diagnosed, Glenn went into hospice in April 2019.   Surrounded by family, Glenn passed peacefully from this life and into the arms of Jesus at 8:27pm on June 5, 2019, at the age of 87 years, six months and one day.

Glenn is survived by Patricia Hossner of Woodburn, OR; his children Tami Firman (David) of Hillsboro, OR, Tim (Izzie) of West Seattle, WA, Steve (Kathy) of Hillsboro, OR, and Scott of Salem, OR;  grandchildren Matthew and Melody Firman, Ryan Hossner (Anna), Kady Boden (Sam) and Alex Hossner, and Henry and Cicely Hossner; his siblings Clyde (Corrine) of Murrieta, CA, Dean (Carma) of Ashton, ID, Lloyd (Yvonne) of College Station, TX, Beth Habib (Helmi) of Ellensburg, WA, Veda Nass (Tom) of Huntsville, UT, Don (Heddy) of Salt Lake City, UT and Kim (Linda) of Ft. Collins, CO.  He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers George and Lyle, and sister Nita.
 
A private service with military honors will be held at Willamette National Cemetery.  A public Memorial Service will be held 3pm Friday July 26th at Trinity United Methodist Church in Salem.  Donations can be made to Willamette Valley Hospice or Trinity UMC food bank.

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Tami, You honored your father well to the glory of God!! He is now cheering you on from Heaven's sidelines Love Nancy Russell Pat, God was honored by the way you cared for Glenn. I am sorry for your loss. Love Nancy Russell



While I've not seen Glenn for fifty plus years, I still have fond recollections of him during my several months while assigned to work in his office in Salem in the early 1960s.  He and Pat soon took me under their wing, me then being a single, relatively brand new employee a long ways from my home back east.  I enjoyed many a home cooked meal at their house, playing with their then very young children, etc.   Glenn and I tossed many a baseball and football around playing catch, also played golf, and even a bit of tennis, which then was new to him.  He was a great friend, and I will forever cherish my memories of him and all the things we did together.