Alice Katherine (Kathleen) O’Connell Glockner, born April 18, 1929 in Spooner, WI, passed peacefully of natural causes the evening of March 7, 2020 at home in Park Ridge, Illinois surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Kathleen loved God, her large family, and everything Irish.
She was a devout Catholic whose mission in life was to lift up others, whether early in her career as a medical technologist in Minneapolis, as an emergency intake volunteer for Catholic Social Services in Ann Arbor, or later as a substitute teacher and suicide hotline volunteer in Algonquin, IL. One of her most unique attributes was her genuine interest in each person she encountered. Her students, many of whom had experienced trauma, felt her respect. Later as adults, these students would cross a street to say hello and give a hug to “Mrs. G.” No one ever heard her utter a bad word about another.
Kathleen was blessed with eternal optimism, no matter what challenges crossed her path. Kathleen was the third child and only daughter of William and Martha Walsh O’Connell and was always grateful that her father remained employed throughout the Great Depression. She saw her mother providing meals on their back porch to itinerant travelers and throughout her 91-year long life, she practiced that same empathy. Kathleen graduated from University of Wisconsin-Superior as a chemistry major and began her career as a medical technician in a Minneapolis hospital.
Kathleen, who had been without her beloved brothers during the war years, valued family above all else. At a church dance in the early 50s, Kathleen met handsome Walter J. Glockner, who had returned from the European Theater. Walter’s two sisters played Cupid and encouraged the match. Kathleen and Walter were married for 37 years until his sudden passing at age 69. With Walter, Kathleen raised a large close-knit family of seven children, whom she managed with love, high expectations, and firm discipline when it was required, especially at the dinner table.
Walter’s career with Northwest Airlines and later the Federal Aviation Administration required several moves, but Kathleen made good friends wherever she went. The big table of children always had room for visitors, even while she cared for her aging father. Kathleen was a health food enthusiast, decades before it was popular, filling her kitchen with the aroma of home-baked wheat bread. Her chemistry background informed her superior baking skills and she delighted her family with homemade pies, cakes, and cookies, sometimes with wheat germ hidden inside. She loved adventure and traveled with her family to Ireland, Europe, Alaska, Canada, and the United States.
Each grandchild knew they were “fearfully, wonderfully made” and she showered them with love, affection, and hand-knit Christmas stockings. She taught them to tie their shoes, always look for the best in people, and appreciate the little things in life. Her grandchildren brought her immense joy and she reveled in many track meets, baseball, softball, hockey, and basketball games as well as band concerts, Boy Scout ceremonies, musical performances, and art shows.
Kathleen (90) was preceded in death by her parents William Matthew O’Connell and Martha Walsh O’Connell, her husband, Walter J. Glockner, and her brothers William and Richard O’Connell. She is survived by her seven children Kathleen Glockner Seymour (Thad) Orlando, FL, Susan Glockner Gallagher (William) Park Ridge, IL, Joanne Glockner Haley (Joseph) Park Ridge, IL, Walter William Glockner Park Ridge, IL, Julie Glockner Bridges, (Frank J.), Virginia Beach, VA, Judy Glockner Schneider (Joseph) Crystal Lake, IL, and James Richard Glockner (Carpentersville, IL), and grandchildren Thaddeus Seymour, Nathaniel Seymour, Madeline Seymour, Meghan Gallagher, Amanda Gallagher, Mary Margaret Gallagher, Ryan Gallagher, Samuel Haley, Noah Haley, Kaleb Haley, J. Kathleen Glockner, Walter Winters Glockner, Riley Bridges, Colin Bridges, Joseph W. Schneider, Connor Schneider, Emily Schneider, and Colleen Schneider, Jacob Glockner, and Ben Glockner, as well as loving nephews and nieces.
Visitation will be held on Friday, March 13, 2020 from 4-8 pm at the Willow Funeral Home, 1415 West Algonquin Rd., (one mile east of Randall Rd.) Algonquin, IL 60102. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 10:30 am, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 111 South Hubbard Street, Algonquin, IL 60102.
Interment will follow at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to:
1) Catholic Charities McHenry County, via: https://catholiccharities.rockforddiocese.org/donations. (Please specify Kathleen Glockner in the note section) or
2) the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center, 1201 W. Harrison St., Ste. 300, Chicago, IL 60607-3319 or visit http://rush.convio.net/KGlockner
online condolences may be directed to the family by clicking on Tribute Wall or for more information please call 847-458-1700.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathleen O'Connell Glockner, please visit our floral store.
AIM at Melanoma Foundation
3217 Bob O Link Court, Plano TX 75093