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NEW CONCORD -- They were neighbors, childhood playmates, high school sweethearts, and eventually became partners for life when they married in 1943.
John H. Glenn, Jr., Ohio's most famous citizen, and Anna Margaret Castor Glenn were honored Saturday evening at "A Celebration of a Life Together," a fund-raising event for the Glenn Museum Foundation's permanent endowment.
The Glenns celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary April 6.
A reception at the John and Annie Glenn Historic Site, Sen. Glenn's boyhood home, was followed by a dinner Saturday at Muskingum University, the Glenns's alma mater.
A pictorial presentation, "Where it all Began," created by Dr. Lorle Porter, displayed photos depicting the Glenns's devotion to each other, their community, the nation and the world.
Additionally, a short video, "Out of Silence: The Annie Glenn Story," produced by Muskingum University's Dr. Jeff Harman and Dr. Tom German, told the poignant story of Annie's battle with stuttering and how she overcame the affliction.
Annie and John both spoke briefly about the importance of the historic site and thanked everyone for their kind words.
Annie related a story about how John would break the news to her if he was going to do something or go somewhere which would cause her to worry.
"We vowed we would never say good-bye. He would just say, Annie, I think I'll go down to the drugstore and buy a pack of gum. We went through a lot of gum," she said. "Our life has been one surprise after another."
John told a couple of geriatric jokes and said he was "surprised by all the preparation" for their visit.
Noting the theme, A Celebration of a Life Together, he said, "It has been exactly that. It has never been boring.
"Annie and I are involved in the School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. We don't teach anymore, we conduct seminars. It's important to inspire young people. That is what it is all about," he said.
The 125 guests at the affair dined on superb cuisine catered by Classic Fare, while the musical talents of the Alato trio added to the ambiance.
Trio members are Dr. Laura Shumann, Dr. Joyce Alesandrini and Dr. Harsha Abeyaratne.
Don McKendry, trustee, director emeritus and master of ceremonies, introduced Museum Foundation officials and board members and thanked sponsors for their contributions.
Remarks by New Concord Mayor Greg Adams, Superintendent of East Muskingum Schools James Heagen, Muskingum University President Anne Steele, State Rep. Jennifer Garrison, U.S. Congressmen Charlie Wilson and Zack Space, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Gov. Ted Strickland all reiterated their appreciation and admiration for the Glenns, their continuing dedication to public service and the value of the historic site for future generations.
"We are celebrating greatness tonight. We appreciate John and Annie Glenn's service to our country. I am honored to know them, as are people around the country and around the world," said Gov. Strickland.