Glenn StevensOctober 21, 1941 ~ October 13, 2017 (age 75)
Glenn Stevens, 75, of Cantrall passed away on Friday, October 13, 2017 at Memorial Medical Center.
He was born in Springfield on October 21, 1941 and was raised during the 40's and 50's in severe poverty on a small farm near Cantrall where he helped his father and grandfather farm with horses and picked corn by hand.
He graduated from Athens schools. He then joined the US Air Force for four years and served as an Air Police Flight Line Security Guard on "Strategic Air Command" Bases in Montana and England during the "Cold War". They guarded refueling tankers and jet bombers loaded with atomic bombs that sat on alert 24/7. He said "It was like going from the stone age to the space age overnight". He said that "Alert Launches" which came often and any time of the day or middle of the night, no matter how severe the weather was fantastic.
Whenever the "Oogha Horn" pierced the night to witness the speed, the thunder, the fire and the fury was a sight to behold, never to be forgotten. They never knew whether the alerts were practice or real until they were over, but they did know that if it was real for war that they had less than ten minutes to live! As all "SAC" bases worldwide were targeted by Russian Ballistic Missiles with Atomic War Heads
They all held secret clearances to work in that environment and were sworn to secrecy for life. He used to joke "I could tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you!"
During the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 when war looked imminent, their sergeant addressed them one evening. He said "Men if war comes, stand your ground and do your jobs as these planes have to be launched with speed and at all costs. If the Russian Missiles come, the last thing we will see is a brilliant flash of light. Then we will all be instantly vaporized with only our shadows left burned into the concrete. Since it will happen in the blink of an eye, it probably won't hurt, so don't let it worry you! Well, anyone ready for a beer and a smoke?! Then follow me!"
Fortunately President Kennedy backed Nikita Khrushchev down within only a handful of minutes before a worldwide launch of everything in the U.S. Arsenal.
After the military, having a farm background he went to landscape college and then operated his own Landscape Maintenance Company for over 40 years.
He was always grateful to the hundreds of customers who hired him over the years and always tried to live his life by his grandfather’s advice "Always leave the wood pile a little higher than when you found it."
He was married twice for a total of over 45 years; First to Bea then to Robin. He loved being outside and taking care of lawns, trees, plants and animals. He was a fan of college basketball, the Harlem Globetrotters, racing, going to festivals, country music, BBQ's, and driving his '23 Ford T-Bucket Street Rod, pedal to the metal.
He was preceded in death by his parents and younger brother, Kenneth.
He leaves behind his beloved animals, several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at Camp Butler National Cemetery. Inter-Veterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County will conduct military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to Animal Protective League or Sherman Fire and Rescue Squad.