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Glenn LeRoy (MMCM,USN, Ret) Hostetter Sr.

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NEWPORT NEWS - Glenn LeRoy Hostetter, Sr (MMCM, USN, Ret), 85, joined his fellow tin can sailors in heaven playing cribbage on the gyro and having steaks on the fantail on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. "Good Looking" Hostetter, as he called himself, dropped out of Morrison High School, joined the Navy at 17, and retired as a Master Chief in the nuclear Navy after a 21 year career spent mostly at sea. He frequently said that his wife of 50 years, Elsie Thomas Hostetter (d. 2000) kept him on the straight and narrow road. Together they raised 4 children, through 26 family moves, inspiring in them the love of learning they shared. While stationed in Foley, AL encyclopedias were purchased for the children but he was the one who read them cover-to-cover. To anyone who would listen he loved to tell sea stories. Top of the list was that he had sailed around the world twice, once in each direction, once under oil power, once under nuclear. He put the USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25) in commission as a Master Chief, sailing as part of Nuclear Task Force One, first circumnavigation of the world by nuclear-powered warships. He was quite proud that Adm. Rickover had visited his engine room. Some of his fondest memories, however, centered on his first ship, the USS Charles R. Ware (DD865), and reunions with those shipmates. Following his USN retirement in 1966 in Pensacola, FL, the family returned home to Newport News in two vehicles, one being a '49 Ford pickup lovingly restored as a father-sons (ages 9 & 11) project. Newport News Shipyard was his next port of call. After a 22 year tour as a nuclear refueling engineer he retired in 1985 to begin the best tour of all: retirement. He treasured the next years as he and Elsie traveled to Wales, across the US twice with life-long friends, tracking lighthouses and Elderhostels featuring the Civil War. After her death, he had a regular Thursday gig at IHOP with the "girls"…cousins Pearl Johnson, Hazel and Gladys Hostetter. Country music was his thing, Hank Williams was his singer and he was a regular at local Friday and Saturday night bluegrass shows with his special friend Lillian Roberts. Sunday afternoons were always reserved for the NASCAR race. A full life! While old age was catching up with him, he was blessed with only a brief final illness and he passed away at the Gardens at Warwick Forest. In addition to his wife he is predeceased by his parents, Samuel L. and Ellen Elizabeth (Shank) Hostetter; daughter, Virginia Ann Hostetter and brother, Charles O. Hostetter. Survived by daughter, Ellen (Chuck) Thompson; sons, Glenn (Carol) Hostetter, and David (Sarah) Hostetter, and son-in-law, Mark Holman; grandchildren, Asher and Isaac Thompson, Emily and Ben Hostetter, Sam and Jasmine Hostetter and Evan Holman; sister Doris (Dale) Simon and a host of other relatives and friends. The family would like to express thanks to the staff and caregivers at Warwick Forest and the Gardens at Warwick Forest, whom he entertained with his dry wit these last few months and weeks. Special thanks to Pete and Evelyn Hartman, brother and sister-in-law, for providing moral and physical support to the family throughout. Visitation will be held at W.J. Smith and Son Funeral Home, 210 Harpersville Road, Newport News, from 6-7 pm Friday, December 13 and again on Saturday, December 14 at 1 pm. Funeral services will begin at 2 pm followed by interment at Peninsula Memorial Park with military honors. In lieu of flowers, please consider gifts to the US Navy Memorial, www.navymemorial.org;or the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, www.nmcrs.org/donate, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, attn: Development, 875 N. Randolph St, Ste 225, Arlington, VA 22203. Or better yet, do something in your neighborhood to support the preservation of traditional bluegrass music! Please leave condolences at www.wjsmithandsonfh.com.

Published in Daily Press on Dec. 13, 2013
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