Civic leader, educator and philanthropist, Glenna Spencer Udre passed from this life March 27, 2013 on the way to her next committee meeting. She had been in good health until a few weeks ago and was looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday Nov. 1. A humble and generous lady who believed that a good education was the key to our world’s future success. She believed the strength of a vibrant community was held in the hearts of dedicated volunteers. She was a bright and shining example for dedication to community service.
Born into a prosperous farming family in Payson, Ill. she was the youngest of seven children. She and her twin brother Glenn were born with polio. This early physical challenge gave her the strength to meet all future situations with determination and resolve.
Glenna was united in marriage to Peter Paul Udre on June 15, 1955, who preceded her in death.
She attended Washington University, St. Louis University and later graduated from the University of Illinois, her family’s Alma Mater. To honor her family she endowed a Chair in Early Childhood Education at the university.
She held a deep, abiding faith and was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. She held a strong belief in the importance of independent small business, historic preservation, beautification and preserving the environment.
After two devastating fires destroyed historic 19th Century buildings in downtown Troy, through a straw person, she acquired the properties and donated the land to the City of Troy for the downtown business district to have additional parking, period street lights and park benches.
To honor her cherished friend Lorene Creech, who purchased the historic Britton House for the Lincoln County Historical Society to have a house museum, Glenna endowed the restoration and preservation of the grounds now known as Glenna’s Garden.
In memory of seven late dear friends she endowed scholarships at the Troy Buchanan High School. She gave the lead gift to establish the Head Start and Reading Buddies Programs at the Troy Schools.
She was a recipient of the Troy Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Award, Troy Community Betterment Association Award, Lincoln County Historical Society Heritage Award, Missouri Governor’s Adult Leadership Award for Community Service and the Missouri Extension Council’s Honor Roll. She was the past chairman of the Central District Garden Club, Arbor Day Celebration, past board member of the Lincoln County Historical Society, Lincoln County Home Health Agency, Historic Britton House Board of Governors, Lincoln County Retired Teachers Association, Troy Community Betterment Association, Troy Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Library and the Lincoln County Mental Health Association.
She is survived by a nephew James Spencer and wife Darlene of Mexico, Mo.; Heath S. Spencer, Mexico, Mo., Sloane Spencer Rogers, husband Jeffrey and their children Laurel and Kyle of Seattle, Wash., special cousin, Joel W. Scarbolrough and wife Lillian, of Payson, Ill. and Chet F. Breitwieser of St. Louis; cousins and many, many friends.
Friends will be received from 11 a.m. to noon. on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Kemper-Marsh-Millard Family Funeral Chapels. Funeral service will be held at noon on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at the chapel. Inurnment will be held at Troy City Cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Art Museum, KETC Channel Nine or Glenna’s Garden at the Historic Britton House in care of Kemper-Marsh-Millard Family Funeral Chapel P.O. 222, Troy, MO 63379. Online condolences may be made at www.millardfamilychapels.com