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Glenn Pekelsma

Published April 25,2024

Obituary's Biography:

Glenn Pekelsma, 84 years old, died January 17, 2024, at home in Third Lake, Illinois. Glenn was born September 28, 1939, in Chicago, the son of Lloyd Michael Pekelsma and Mildred Ruth (Erickson) Pekelsma.

Glenn’s parents found Third Lake because of the U. S. Navy. His dad’s tour of duty from the Korean War was to finish at Great Lakes Naval Training Center but there wasn’t any housing to accommodate a family of seven. Through family friends and some luck, they stumbled upon a house in Third Lake. His parents passed away at the turn of the century and his siblings left, but Glenn never left Third Lake. He fell in love with a summer-time city girl at 12 years of age. He and Gloria Tenebrini married in 1960 and raised their children there. Glenn attended Grayslake Community High School (as did his three children, his two brothers and his three sisters), graduated in 1957, and was a member of the football and baseball teams all four years. The winters were spent playing hockey on many of the local lakes and, in later years, in various rinks in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. His love of hockey was such that he played until he was 65 years old. Glenn attended Ripon College for a year before dropping out and working in construction.He began as a bricklayer, a job he loved. He learned quite a lot about the trades from the excavators, carpenters, cement finishers, electricians, plasterers, and plumbers with whom he worked during his apprenticeship. Later he turned to carpentry. There were some lean winters, but he and Gloria weathered them and prospered. In 1972 they moved into a beautiful stone house in which they lived the rest of their lives.

Anyone that knew Glenn knew him as “Pops.” Over 60 years of shaping young peoples’ lives, he coached everyone, from his children to strangers to every Grayslake hockey kid in between. Some of his kids were from his son’s years starting in 1979. Their kids now have kids who have kids. His legacy always will be ‘Pops’ with his firm voice and gentle heart.

Glenn is survived by his children, Jeffrey (Robin) Pekelsma, Christine (Tom) Hanchin, Jenny (Steve) Kane, by his eight grandchildren and by his four siblings.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria (in 1997), and his sister Ruth (in 1968).

A Celebration of Life for Glenn will be held on Saturday June 1, 2024 from 2:00-5:00 P.M.

at the Fogcutter, 36021 N. US Hwy 45, Lake Villa, IL 60046.

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  1. Glenn told it like he saw it, but was never mean. He was the greatest. A very kind man. I will miss him.

  2. Glenn was a second dad to me in some many ways. Glenn was full of wisdom that he was kind enough to share with me throughout the years. Glenn could be stubborn and a bit crotchety at times but I have never met anyone with a more caring heart. Glenn was a friend, a mentor, a dad, and so much more. I am privileged to have spent meaningful time / moments with him for decades. His love for Gloria and his children was unparalleled. He will always be in my heart and always be missed. As my dad used to say when with Glenn and I “one for the ditch”! Love you Glenn!

  3. Hi Ed & Ruth! I have often thought about you two and I always ask Jenny how you are whenever I talk to her. I was so sad hearing about Glenn. He was one heck of a guy. I am planning on coming up for his memorial service and hope to see you both then. Love, Charlie.

  4. Great assistant ice hockey coach, hockey player, and neighbor across the lake. Always enjoyed conversations with him.

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