Mr. Wallace Glenn Yancey
Published 8:00 am Friday, October 12, 2018
VALLEY — Wallace Glenn Yancey was born at home in Langdale, Ala. to Nellie Raughton and Wallace Odell Yancey on Sept. 8, 1930. He weighed three pounds, easily fitting into a shoe box. His parents had to keep hot water bottles around him for the first several months of life. He was a fragile child at first but after his tonsils were removed at age three, he thrived.
Glenn grew up in Langdale and on Sand Mountain in north Alabama where his Raughton grandparents lived. He attended LaFayette Lanier School in Langdale and Valley High School (then Valley Vocational High) in Fairfax, graduating in 1948. While his grades were not the best, he graduated with one distinction: The school librarian said he’d read more books than any student at the school had read before. At that time and for the rest of his life, he especially loved reading history.
After graduating, Glenn joined the U.S. Navy, although his parents had to sign for him because he was only 17 years old. He spent most of his four years on a cargo ship, the USS Chicot, serving the route between Japan and Guam just as the Korean War broke out. After four years in the Navy, Glenn returned home to enroll at Auburn University from which he graduated in 1956 (with honors) in business administration. During two years of work on a master’s degree, Glenn taught courses in marketing and economics and was able to teach some of his hometown friends.
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Upon leaving Auburn, he worked a short time for West Point Manufacturing Company (later WestPoint Pepperell) before joining Arkwright Mutual Insurance Company of Boston. He rose through the sales and marketing ranks at Arkwright (including postings in New York City, Boston, and Atlanta), ultimately serving as executive vice president. He later helped start a subsidiary insurance brokerage firm called the Hobbs Group and served as its president until retiring in 1994.
After retiring, he served as a consultant for the Hobbs Group, traveling nationally and internationally in that role. Glenn was particularly appreciative of young people and was known to say, “They don’t know they can’t succeed and so they do!“ During his time in Massachusetts, he lived in Acton and Stow where he was commander of the Acton Minutemen and on the board of directors of Acton Youth Hockey Association. After retiring, he returned to Alabama where he played rook with his hometown friends and affiliated with the Spring Road Christian Church in Lanett. In 2017, he and Judith moved to Gainesville, Ga., where they resided until his death. After a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, Glenn passed away in his beloved Maine where he spent summers at the family cottage in Georgetown.
Glenn loved sports of all kinds and, as a youth, regularly broke his shoulder or toes playing sandlot baseball and football. His first love was baseball and, as a boy, he could quote baseball statistics at the drop of a hat. Glenn’s mother thought he was saintly since for most of his years in the Navy, he had his checks mailed home. What she did not know: he was an excellent poker player. His shipmates apparently misjudged his southern accent as he relieved them of their paychecks.
Glenn was predeceased by his first wife Betty Jo Carden, who was the mother of their three children: Angela Woodard (Tom), Susan Hancock (Richard), and Reed Yancey (Carol). He is survived by his second wife, Judith Conant and daughter Dana Ross (Chandler). His grandchildren include Andrew Johanson, Matthew Johanson, Melissa Phetsomphou (Steven), Joseph Naylor, Nicole Yancey, Sydney Wilson Yancey, Kody Yancey, MacKenzie Ross, and Forrest Ross, and great grandchildren Ethan Johanson, Isabella Johanson, and Jennifer Chabot. Two sisters, Joyce Hanrahan and Patsy Martin, and brother-in-law Scott Conant (Judith) also survive him.
A celebration of Glenn’s life will be held on Sunday Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. EDT (visitation at 2 p.m.) at Bluffton Funeral Services, located at 101 N. Lanier Avenue, Lanett; tel: 334 644-9448). The Rev. David Bradshaw will officiate. Anyone interested in memorializing Glenn is invited to contribute to CHANS Hospice Care, 60 Baribeau Dr, Brunswick, ME 04012 (tel: 207-729-6782).