ETHERINGTON firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-19 published
Harry Glen ETHERINGTON
By Marilyn ETHERINGTON Friday, December 19, 2003 - Page A28
Husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, farmer, mayor, coach, mentor, citizen of the year. Born June 23, 1925, in Binbrook, Ontario Died September 15, in Binbrook, of cancer, aged 78.
Glen died in the very house where he lived his entire life. Born into a farming family, farming was Glen's main occupation, but not his only one. His life revolved around his family, his farm and his community. There was very little that Glen wasn't involved in, whether it was as a councillor, deputy mayor, mayor, coach of hockey and baseball, member of the Lions Club, the Binbrook Fair Board, the Hamilton Children's Aid Society, Participation House or biking for charity -- the list goes on and on.
Glen was always the first to admit, as the saying goes, that behind every great man there's a great woman. He acknowledged many times that if it were not for his dear wife, Jean, maintaining life on the home front, he would never have been able to accomplish all the things he did. Jean was always there: unassuming, uncomplaining, steadfast, shunning the spotlight, just off to Glen's side -- his rock.
Known for the wonderful patience he showed to his constituents, one of my favourite stories about Glen was told often by Jean. As Jean would frantically be trying to help five young children (with a total of six years between them) get ready for an outing, Glen would be in the car in the driveway, honking the horn for the family to hurry up. There was no lack of patience, though, as he took the children to early morning hockey practices, baseball games, 4H Club and so forth. The five children were encouraged to participate in anything and everything that they were interested in.
Every Christmas those family members who were able to gathered at the farm. Often Glen would be out at the back pond, watering it to freeze it smooth, checking the depth of the ice or cleaning off the snow. The children and grandchildren (and sometimes Glen) would play hockey for hours, freezing their fingers and toes. One year he built a large wooden sled that enabled him to pull all of his grandchildren behind the tractor. In from the cold, Glen would build a roaring fire in his wood stove, making the room so hot it would be unbearable for everyone but himself.
Glen loved life and fought to keep it until the very end. Always the most dignified man, Glen refused to become bedridden. He got dressed every day and came to his own homemade kitchen table for every single meal, including his last one. Sometimes it would take a Herculean effort on his part, and the part of his family, but he always made it to the table.
On the morning of Glen's last full day, his son, along with Jean and myself, took Glen for a drive through the Binbrook Fairgrounds, the annual fair happening that very weekend; Glen had attended and worked at the fair for as long as his children could remember. Leaving the fairgrounds, we drove through a new housing development, down Etherington Court, past the very familiar farms and surroundings and back to Glen's farm for the last time.
Almost 1,000 people signed the remembrance book and many lined up for as long as two hours to pay their respects to Glen and his family. This sincere outpouring of thanks, admiration and sympathy at the news of Glen's passing was truly awe-inspiring for Glen's children and grandchildren.
To this day I find it hard to believe that there were enough hours in the day for Glen to accomplish all that he did -- and to touch the lives of so many.
Marilyn is Glen's daughter-in-law.
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