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Charley Glover 58 Crest

Charles Williamson Glover, Jr.

No. 21850 • 26 December 1933 - 12 October 2002
Died Hampton, VA
Inurned in St. Wilfred's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Marion, AL

Charles Williamson "Charley" Glover, Jr., was born at Fort Bragg, NC on Dec. 26, 1933, the son of COL Charles Williamson Glover and Katherine Daughdrill Glover. He spent much of his early life in Marion, AB, where COL Glover was Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Marion Institute, a prestigious military high school and junior college. COL Glover's profession and the proximity of Marion Institute, made the military an important influence in Charley's early life. That influence was reinforced by the letters he received during WWII from his father, then in the European Theater., Charley graduated from high school at Marion Institute in 1952 and in 1953 was enrolled in the junior college when he received his appointment to West Point with the Class of 1957.

The French Department failed to appreciate the obvious aesthetic superiority of Charley's Alabama drawl to the effete Gallic nuances it preferred and offered him the opportunity to demonstrate his proficiency again as a member of the Class of '58. Charley joined '58 after Christmas, 1954, and it immediately became apparent to his new classmates that ‘57's loss was ‘58's gain. His contagious smile, his ever-present, delightfully irreverent sense of humor, and his genuine affection for his classmates and concern for their well-being made the rigors of cadet life more bearable for all around him.

Disregarding his initial encounter with the French Department, a setback he avenged by achieving first-section standing during the rematch, Charley met West Point's academic challenges with aplomb. A minor difference of opinion with the Tactical Department during First Class year was quickly forgotten in the excitement of graduation, commissioning in the Artillery, the basic course at Forts Sill and Bliss, jump school at Fort Benning, and the eagerly anticipated assignment to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY.

Those were heady times for the 101st Airborne Division, designated "STRAC 1" as the nation's immediate ready force, and commanded by MG William C. Westmoreland. Charley was assigned to Mortar Battery of the 2d Battle Group, 506th Infantry. Even in a unit renowned for its high morale and esprit, Charley was conspicuous for his "gung ho" attitude and enthusiasm. He sought out and volunteered for extra jumps whenever possible. The more exotic the jump—be it "tailgate" behind a "heavy-drop," night jump on a postage-stamp drop zone from an L-20, or mass jump from a C-124 "Crowd Killer"—the better. A classmate and close friend observed that Charley was one of the few men, even in the elite 101st Airborne, who actually enjoyed jumping out of airplanes.

In 1961 Charley left the 101st for "cross-training" in the Air Defense Artillery. He was assigned to the 6th Missile Battalion, 61st Artillery, a Hawk unit scheduled for activation and "package training" at Fort Bliss and subsequent deployment to Germany. While in Germany he was reassigned from the 6/61 to Headquarters, 32d Artillery Brigade, near Kaiserslautern. It was there he met his future wife, Gudrun May. Charley and Gudrun were married in 1964 in a ceremony attended by virtually every classmate within driving distance of Kaiserslautern.

In 1966, after AOCC, Charley joined the 1st Battalion, 21st Artillery, 1st Air Cavalry Division at Ft. Polk, LA, before deployment on the first of his two tours of duty in Vietnam, during which he was decorated for leading a rescue mission into an unsecured area near the Laotian border.

After Charley's return from Vietnam, he and Gudrun enjoyed another tour in Germany with the 32d Artillery Air Defense Command and the 4th Armored Division Artillery. Their lives were enriched and blessed by the arrival of their son Georg Allen ("Allen") in 1970, shortly before Charley's departure for a second tour in Vietnam with Headquarters, MACV. This was followed by assignments to Headquarters, Continental Army Command, at Ft. Monroe, VA and subsequently to the Transportation School at Fort Eustis, VA. In 1977 he and Gudrun left for a final tour in Germany with the 21st Support Command.

In 1980 Charley retired from the Army. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals for valor, four Army Commendation Medals, and nine Air Medals. The Glovers settled in Hampton, Virginia.

In Hampton Charley began a second career teaching geometry and algebra at Kecoughtan High School (and supporting its ROTC program), and earned a Master's degree in education from George Washington University. He also found time to pursue fully a passion that ranked behind only his love for family and friends: firearms, particularly competitive high-powered rifle shooting. He was a Life Member of the National Rifle Association for more than 40 years, and it would be a serious understatement to say that Charley believed in the Second Amendment right of the individual American citizen to keep and bear arms. As he once put it, "The Framers gave us the Second Amendment in case the Government ever forgets about the other nine." Charley retired from teaching in 1994 to care for Gudrun, who died of cancer that year.

To be Charley's friend was to be blessed. In his presence friends would invariably find their own moods elevated by his ever-present optimism, irreverent humor, and unfailing ability to place things in perspective. Charley always confronted his own problems with determination and incurable optimism, and if a friend were troubled Charley made the friend's troubles his own. He would always sense the proper combination of sympathy, humor, cajolery, irony, irreverence, and love for any situation or state of mind, and apply it relentlessly until the situation was rectified.

Charley died on October 12, 2002, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. A memorial service at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hampton, VA was attended by an overflow crowd of classmates and friends. Charley was cremated, and a small inurnment service was held in Marion, AB on July 10, attended by his family and close friends, including the contingent of lifelong friends he called the "Alabama Mafia," from Marion. As Charley had directed, his ashes were buried next to the graves of his mother and Gudrun—in a .30 caliber ammunition can.

In addition to Allen and Allen's wife, Colleen Sherin, Charley is survived by his sister, Katherine Daughdrill Rowe, Katherine's husband, Dr. Stephen Rowe, of Gadsden, AB, numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins, and countless friends who loved him like a brother.
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