Doris B. Glessner
This undated photo of Doey Glessner "captures her essence" youngest son Neal said. (Submitted photo / April 20, 2013)
Youngest son Neal Glessner of Hagerstown said an appropriate epitaph for his mother would be, “She left a little sparkle wherever she went.”
Even Doris’ name changed over time. It started when older sister Evelyn’s daughter took to calling her Doey because she couldn’t pronounce Doris. That side of the family began using the nickname, then a few more special people, then over time, more and more, Neal said.
“She became very fond of people calling her that,” including her grandchildren, Neal said.
“When people called her Doey, it was a term of affection,” he said.
It was her passion for living life to the fullest that would get her through several difficult medical chapters in the family.
Doey was born in Chambersburg, Pa., the youngest of J. Marlin and Marie Burkholder’s son and two daughters. She was 4 when her mother died. Her father remarried and had two more daughters.
They moved to a horse farm in Shady Grove, Pa., and her father showed horses from Canada to Florida. The family had to leave its Mennonite faith behind because he couldn’t show horses and remain Mennonite, said one of the younger sisters, Beverly “Bev” Hajek of Waynesboro, Pa.
“One of our walking horses was presented to Vice President Lyndon Johnson on the Capitol steps,” Bev said.
Doey met Robert “Bob” Glessner Jr. at a Valentine’s dance in 1957, the year she graduated from Greencastle (Pa.) High School. They married in November of that year, moved to Chambersburg and son Stephen “Steve” was born in September 1958.
A yearlong move to Nashville in 1970 allowed Doey the opportunity to usher at the Grand Ole Opry.
“She said she got to meet a lot of celebrities, but I can’t tell you who,” Neal said.
The Glessners returned to Chambersburg, where Paige and Neal were born. Bob became a successful commercial banker before they moved to Hagerstown in 1972 and started their own security company in the basement of their home.
Doey answered the phones, set up installation appointments and did the bookkeeping, while Bob did the sales, installation and service calls.
The couple separated in 1991, but did not divorce.
Neal said as the company grew, he can remember sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast and the employees would start arriving. The company eventually moved to its own office space when it outgrew the Glessner home, Neal said.
Now called Glessner Technologies, the company has grown to more than 8,000 customers with 40 employees and is run by Neal. Steve is a lawyer and lives in Frederick, Md.
Education was important to Doey. Her father and father-in-law only had attended school through eighth grade.
“She wanted us all to go to college,” said Steve, who admitted he really wasn’t interested, but then ended up going to law school.