Ann Gleszer of Danbury died July 7, 2011. Daughter of Frank and Catherine Golick of Columbia, she was born June 21, 1916. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Master's Degree in Education. While attending college, she also took flying lessons and got her private pilot's license. Ann became an air traffic controller at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Ann applied to the Women's Air Service Pilot (WASP) program and served from 1944 until the end of the war. During that time, Ann served her country as a test pilot in Macon GA. Her WASP service influenced Ann for the rest of her life. After deactivation, Ann was a flight instructor and kept a plane at Simsbury airport. Later, as a test pilot for aeronautical engineer, businessman and inventor Charles Kaman in Bloomfield, she was featured flying a Kaman Aircraft K-125 helicopter in the November 15, 1948 issue of "Life" magazine. Ann married Thomas Griffin (deceased) and lived in Switzerland with their two sons, during which time she developed life-long friendships and learned fluent French. Ann began teaching French at Simsbury High School in the early 1960s and arranged many winter ski trips for students to Okemo Mountain; she also taught French and Spanish at Newtown High School until her retirement in 1983. Her husband of 42 years, Kenneth Gleszer, was a radio communication officer on Liberty ships in World War II, plus a former non-military pilot and flight instructor. In August, 2009, Ann received the Congressional Gold Medal honoring her WASP service during World War II. The award honored WASPs, who were the first women in history to fly American military aircraft. She also received the Connecticut Veteran's Wartime Service Medal from the Dept. of Veterans' Affairs. Ann was a member of the Methodist Church of Bethel and a life-long member of Eastern Star. Ann is pre-deceased by her parents; sisters Mary and Sophie, and brother, Bill. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth of Danbury; son Douglas Griffin and spouse Jill of Monroe; son Glenn Griffin and spouse Sandra, of Silver City, New Mexico; grandson Douglas II and spouse Stephanie of Bethel and many fond teachers, students, military, neighbors and friends in the U.S., Switzerland and Italy.
A memorial service will be held at the Methodist Church in Bethel as well as interment in St. Mary's Church Cemetery, Coventry will take place at a later date. The family will receive friends on Sunday, (July 10, 2011) between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. at the Cornell Memorial Home, 247 White St. Danbury. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Masonicare Hospice or the Salvation Army. To Light a candle please visit www.CornellMemorial.com