Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Passing of a Good Woman--Dorothy Glanzer, Wife of Old Friend Greg Haas

My old Peacemaker friend Greg Haas, who I met in February of 1971 at the Mansfield House in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, lost his wife Dorothy a few days ago. Greg and Dorothy were married in 1983 by Rev. Maurice McCrackin. For most of their married life they lived in Bloomington, Indiana. Greg sent me this beautiful obituary of Dorothy (below). Both Greg and Dorothy have lived beautiful, simple, truthful lives. And for the past 15 years or so of Dorothy's life, she lived with Multiple Sclerosis. It was an incredible challenge to both of them. As a Catholic Christian, I like to think of this as "Redemptive Suffering." It's not something I can explain very well, but it's something I believe deeply in.

Dorothy Mae Glanzer


September 4, 1953-May 23, 2014
    Born near Canistota, SD to a hard-working, frugal Mennonite family in an historic Mennonite agricultural community, Dorothy and her three siblings grew up tending chickens, working in the milk house and doing farm chores while attending a mixed-grade, one-room school.
    Studying and boarding at Freeman Junior College, Dorothy took organ and piano lessons and played for church services. After high school she spent a year in a Mennonite cultural exchange program in Switzerland and Germany. At Goshen College, she participated in a study-service term in Honduras, graduating with a B.S in Nursing. After college she worked at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls and a summer at a Black Hills Lutheran camp.
    Seeking adventure and wanting to see more of the country, she signed up for Mennonite Voluntary Service where she served two years in Cincinnati, Ohio while living in a MVS community house. Staying in Cincinnati, she worked as a nurse with Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor for eight years and at Bethesda Hospital’s in-patient hospice for one and a half years.
    While working in the historic Over-The-Rhine, the city’s largest, poorest neighborhood, she met her husband who was working on a low-income housing project. Sharing concerns for social justice, world peace and creating community, they married in 1983 at a home-spun, convivial celebration officiated by Rev. Maurice McCrackin, Cincinnati’s well-known anti-war and social justice activist. In 1989 the couple moved to Bloomington where Dorothy worked part-time in the Bloomington Hospital Rehab and Orthopedic departments for four years, Bloomington Hospice for seven years and Area Ten Agency on Aging for four and a half years until 2004.
    Besides a vocation in nursing, Dorothy enjoyed playing the piano, singing, cooking, socializing with friends, gardening, reading and the great outdoors. A vacation ritual was driving out to South Dakota to visit with family and friends, often getting off the interstates to enjoy the great natural beauty and cultural attractions of the Midwest.
    For the last fifteen years of Dorothy’s life, multiple sclerosis was a major challenge forcing her to eventually quit work and relinquish many of the activities she loved to do. For the last ten years she was limited to using her power wheel chair, working endless hours at her computer, reading extensively and watching films. She enjoyed participating in a writing group in which she reflected on her farm life experiences and working in Cincinnati’s poor neighborhoods. She was a formidable Scrabble player. Throughout all her struggles with MS and finally cancer, we will remember her sweet, radiant smile, her equanimity, serenity, grace, poise, and good humor despite her seemingly interminable, ever-deteriorating health. 
    Dorothy was a member of Bloomington Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and was member of the group that created Mt. Gilead Friends Retreat, a sixty-plus acre natural preserve where all are welcome to be nourished through the wonder and inspiration of nature.
    Dorothy is survived by: her husband of thirty years, Greg Haas; her father, Moses and the late Reva Glanzer of Freeman, SD; Lu Ann Glanzer of Sioux Falls, SD; Nancy and Jeff Fischer of Lincoln, NE; Mark and Margaret Glanzer of Canistota, SD; in-laws, Flora and the late Charles Haas, Sr., Charles Haas, Jr., Linda (Haas) and Greg Hand of Cincinnati; Cindy (Haas) Potter of Burlington, KY; seven nieces and nephews; beloved aunts and uncles; and numerous cousins.
    We would like to thank the many doctors, nurses, home health agencies and aides, area nursing homes and especially Bloomington Hospital (I.U. Health) and I.U. Health Hospice and Hospice volunteers for all the many wonderful and caring services that Dorothy received over the years that added immeasurably to the quality of her life.
    With much gratitude we thank our wonderful, amazing and incredible families and friends for all the assistance in many forms, for their love and support, visits, meals, flowers, cards, phone calls, massages, errands, favors, sewing projects, emergency assistance, care packages, pharmacy and airport runs, etc. over the last ten very difficult years. To have been held in the embrace of love and community has been miraculous. We have been so richly blessed by your celebrating Dorothy’s life in community. We love you all very much.

A memorial service will be held at Hutterthal Mennonite Church in Freeman, SD at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dorothy’s memory to Mt.Gilead Friends Retreat, 3363 Mt.Gilead Rd., Bloomington, IN 47408, or to the charity of your choice. 

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