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Life Story / Obituary
A loving husband, supportive father, and fun-loving grandfather, Glenn Nevelle lived his life fully. A family man and great provider, he worked hard over the years ensuring the family he loved lived comfortably. An avid sports fan, his days entailed mostly of the time he spent with his family as well as watching nearly every Notre Dame game he could from his early childhood years and every season since! Generous beyond measure, Glenn leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories that will fondly be remembered by his many special friends and loved ones.
The year 1941 characterized so much of our nation’s history. It was the year that marked the fateful attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. As Franklin D. Roosevelt was leading the United States into unprecedented times, Jack and Agnes (Rupp) Nevelle welcomed home their newborn son, Glenn, on September 27th, in Quincy, Illinois. His birth brought great joy and promise to the family home.
Growing up in South Bend, he was a fan of the Fighting Irish throughout his developmental years. His father, a local draftsman, was known to purchase season tickets to the Notre Dame games and his mother, an organist, played the familiar fight song often at home. Glenn showed an early interest in sports and during his young adolescent years, he mostly favored playing basketball. A star on his team, his beautiful eyes and sparkling smile attracted his high school sweetheart, Nancy, from the sidelines.
After graduating from Riley High School, the two of them joined in marriage in 1960 and were eager to start a family of their own. Their early years together involved moving around a bit for Glenn to secure work. For a short time, he worked for Studebaker as well as many other labor jobs before seeing an ad in a local newspaper for training with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. By 1963, he and Nancy had relocated to the Kalamazoo area and Glenn was signed up for training! Together they welcomed home four wonderful children; Kimberly, Kathryn, Glenn Jr., and Krista! As a father, he was stern yet fair. He modeled for them a strong set of values and rules to live by including integrity, hard work, and kindness towards others.
Little did he know that his career with the KDPS would grow to twenty-six wonderful years supporting the community he loved. Glenn’s strong work ethic and driven personality led him to be promoted to Captain. One memorable, as well as exhilarating moment of his career, was pulling the alarm for the tornado that hit downtown Kalamazoo in 1980. His professional guidance was exemplary as he worked to merge the fire and police department during his tenure. Glenn’s reputation for outstanding leadership and commitment to excellence was well known throughout the community of service workers and greater community agencies. To balance the pressure of his career, Glenn was known to play a couple of rounds of golf on his off days as well as coach several sports teams over the years. Glenn made many lasting friendships with his fellow colleagues. His rich sense of humor helped him bounce back from many of their pranks on him over the years. Known to be very organized they often liked to mess with his things just to see his reaction! Close with each one of them, he treated them like his second family. He was so special to them, the year after Glenn retired, they still sent him a Boss’ Day gift! He retired in 1989 after 26 years.
Retirement offered Glenn many wonderful opportunities. First and foremost, his grandchildren were his everything. He never passed up a chance to cheer them on at one of their sporting matches or special events. Remarkably committed to his community, he accepted a position for head of security for Kalamazoo College. Glenn also enjoyed working security at Wings Stadium or other local events for extra spending money. He loved attending his local baseball games and could often be found arguing with the umpires! Active and outgoing, each year he helped with the Pig Bowl, a friendly rivalry bowling event as well as the Cops vs. Cons event to raise money for local charities. Glenn also played basketball against the Harlem Globetrotters as a fundraiser for the Jaycee’s. A regular patron on Saturday mornings at the Stage Coach Inn with friends, he could always be counted on to join in on the fun!
Glenn lived his life passionately supporting those around him. His friends, as well as his family, relied on his wisdom and guidance over the years. In any crisis, he was their steadfast calm. He knew how to keep everyone centered even in the midst of challenging times. Proud of the family he loved, he had a very special bond with every one of them, especially his granddaughter, Sophia. During the decline in his health, he continued on in order to witness her every success. He wanted nothing more than to see her grow up and come into her own. There is no doubt that Glenn’s loving ways and gentle spirit will be deeply missed by his many special loved ones and the countless lives he touched over the years. May his family and friends remember his generosity and live their lives as a reflection of his selfless acts of love and sacrifice.
Glenn Nevelle Sr., age 78, died on November 19, 2019. Glenn was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers: John Nevelle and Tim Nevelle. Surviving are his wife, Nancy; children: Kimberly (Herbert) Hansen, Kathryn Nevelle, Glenn (Janette) Nevelle Jr., and Krista Nevelle; grandchildren: Amanda Doorlag, Ashley Nevelle, Alexandra Nevelle, Sophia Nevelle, Claudia Doyle, and Tommy Doyle; three great-grandchildren: Nancy Doorlag, Gary Doorlag, and Colton Warnken; siblings: Yvonne (Bob) Kenny, Frank (Rosie) Nevelle, Carole (Stephen) Pinter; several nieces and nephews; his close friend, John Woods and the breakfast club. Cremation has taken place. Services will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, November 30, 2019, at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, 269-375-2900. A light reception will follow in the Life Story Center. Visit Glenn’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to West Michigan Cancer Center or Wings of Hope Hospice.