Whidbey News-Times


Bench honors longtime Oak Harbor YMCA board member

By KATHY REED September 28, 2012 · Updated 3:16 PM

Debbie Wilson, Betty Glein’s daughter, tries out a new bench dedicated to Glein, along with Glein’s great-grandchildren Allison and Jake. The bench is located in front of the Armed Forces YMCA on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. Glein was a longtime board member of the YMCA. She succumbed to cancer last year. / Kathy Reed / Whidbey News-Times

The Armed Forces YMCA in downtown Oak Harbor has provided a new place for folks to take a break from the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life and to use as a vantage point for the community’s many parades.

A bench dedicated to longtime YMCA board member Betty Glein was unveiled in a brief ceremony Thursday evening.

Glein died last year after a battle with cancer.

“I knew Betty for a long time. She was a good mentor for me when I took this job 22 years ago,” said YMCA Executive Director Major “Butch” Laurion. “This is a loss to all of us and we wanted to put something out front to honor her.”

Members of the YMCA board of directors, Glein’s family and friends from the Navy Wives Club of America were on hand for the grand unveiling, performed by three of Glein’s children, Dave, Doug and Debbie, and her two great-grandchildren, Jake and Allison.

“We all loved her,” said board member Doug Palko. “Thank you for sharing her with us.”

“She was an incredible woman,” said Doug Glein. “She loved people and she taught us to love people, even when they’re unloveable.

“She recognized that she was just a small piece of something larger,” he continued. “This is an incredible tribute to Mom.”

Betty Glein, longtime member and president of the NWCA branch 150, would have appreciated the gesture, said friends, who took a few moments to remember her sense of humor.

“We all have to come and take turns sitting on Betty’s lap,” grinned NWCA member Barb Mann.


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