Leroy (Lee) E. Gliem, a resident of Wayne Woodland Manor (formerly of Whitehall and Lakeville PA), passed away Sunday, age 81, with his wife of 47 years, the former Donna Waldron, his son David Gliem and daughter Jessica Julian by his bedside.|
Born in Hazleton in 1932, he was the son of the late Arthur A. and Anna M. Smith Gliem.
A 1950 graduate of Hazleton Area High School, Lee enlisted in the Air Force in 1953 and retired in 1973 at the rank of Major after a distinguished 20-year career of service as a Master Navigator.
He served three tours of duty in Vietnam, was a member of the highly-selective Air Commandos, volunteering for many dangerous missions in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.
As a member of the 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Lee navigated aircraft into typhoons and on rescue missions, saving countless lives, including the downed crew of a B-52.
He attended the University of Nevada from 1956 to 1957 and Florida State University from 1963 to 1965 where he studied Spanish language and culture.
After retiring from the Air Force, Lee worked for 13 years as distribution manager for Rodale Press in Emmaus, PA.
He also worked for 10 years in the same capacity for Hill's Imports located in Allentown, PA, before retiring in 1997.
Leroy believed strongly in a life of service to others. He served as president of the Whitehall Public Library, was a member of the Whitehall Lions Club, serving as president from 1989-90 and in 2004 was honored by the Lions Club International as a Melvin Jones Fellow.
Lee was especially concerned with children's causes and was a lifelong contributor to Smile Train, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Child Fund International.
Later in life, Lee was an avid reader especially of American history, politics and autobiographies.
He loved to travel and had traveled all over South America, North America, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Also surviving are a son David Gliem and his wife Valerie of St. Petersburg, FL.; a daughter Jessica Julian and her husband Patrick of Wilmington, DE.; sisters Jean Gliem, Francis Kelly and Dorothy Eby; a brother Harold Gliem all of Hazlelton; grandchildren Gretel and Maggie Gliem and Isabella and Francesca Julian; several nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by brothers Carl, Donald and Earl Gliem; a sister Hazel Reimer.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday at 9:30 am in St. Mary's Church, St. Mary's Church Rd. Ledgedale by Rev. Stephen Stavoy, pastor.
Friends may call Wednesday from 5-8 pm in the James Wilson Funeral Home 143 Gravity Rd. Lake Ariel.
Interment with full military honors will be at a future date in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Lee's name to Smile Train (a donor page has been created in his honor), St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, or Child Fund International.
For directions, to share a memory or to leave the family a condolence please visit www.jameswilsonfuneralhome.com.
Published in Wayne Independent on July 30, 2014