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Malcolm Frank Glenn, 59

Malcolm Frank Glenn, 59, of Bemidji, died Saturday, March 21, 2009, after a long illness, while wintering in south Texas.

A private memorial service is pending.

He was born June 2, 1949, to Frank and Ardis Glenn in Kansas City, Mo. He graduated from Durango High School in Durango, Colo., in 1968. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1972-1976, where his duties included working with the NASA program, teaching survival training and working with the Boys Scouts of America in California. He married Nancy DeKrey July 31, 1982, in Bemidji. He graduated from Bemidji State University in 1990, with honors, earning degrees in English and philosophy. In 1997, he studied garden design under Duncan Heather at The University of Oxford, United Kingdom. He lived and worked in the Bemidji community from 1986 to the present. He and his wife established Glenn's Landscape and Garden Design in 1988 where he mentored many young people.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; son, Matthew of Palm Springs, Calif.; mother of Shawnee Mission, Kansas; sister, Joceyln (Phil) Bronson of Indian Harbor Beach, Fla; brother, Phil (Tony) Glenn of Oklahoma City, Okla.; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Guestbook Entries

News of Malcolm's passing made the Kansas City Star this weekend. I hadn't heard that name for a very long time, but recognize the connections in Bimidji as I read the tributes to him. I met Malcolm at Allendale by Jingo in Drexel, MO in the mid-60's. His take-charge personality at the age of 15 was quite impressionable to us who were a year younger! Those pictures show a man on a mission. It is a statement to his character and integrity to read that he had continued to help and teach others. With a daughter in the Air Force, I can only hope she follows Malcolm's lead in life. My heart goes out to Nancy and their son Matt.

Greg Smith

Mission Hills, KS

Posted: 05/04/2009 01:18 PM

My baby brother Malcolm is gone and I am writing this after a few weeks of this really sinking in. Nancey, you have been so wonderful to our family----especially Mom (Gigi) who has lost a son and at the same time dealing with your own grief. I keep thinking how very lucky you and Malcolm were to have each other and your long and loving relationship. You were both truly wealthy. Matthew I know you will miss him greatly and I'm sending loving thoughts to you too. I will always look at gardens with Malcolm in mind. What a legacy of beauty to leave behind. It is wonderful to know how many young lives he touched----almost like planting bulbs to flower in the spring. This soul work you leave behind is what matters. I just saw a quote that says a lot --"don't cry because it is over but smile because it happened". Here is to you "Malcolm McGregor Glenn" on your new adventure. We love you Nancy and Matt and will be there for you in the future. Malcolm's sister Jocelyn

Jocelyn Bronson

Melbourne, FL

Posted: 04/22/2009 01:20 PM

Dear Nancy, I just learned of Malcolm's departure. I just want you to know that I am here for you in Bemidji whenever you need to talk and hike; I know you love the great outdoors and we can walk in the state park and share stories and laugh and maybe cry a little together. I've known you since our high school days in Bemidji, boating and swimming on Lake Bemidji so often, and enjoying nature. You've always had a special place in my heart because of your loving ways and both you and Malcolm were so blessed to have shared each other for 27 years; you have both made this world a better place to be. I am so proud to know you. Maybe we can BOTH go on an airstream trip some day... Joshua Tree State Park perhaps!! See you soon, love, Darla

Darla Desautel

Bemidji, MN

Posted: 04/21/2009 09:24 AM

I arrived at Mather AFB in Sacramento just hours behind Malcolm in 1972. We developed an instant rapport. We bar hopped the first night and continued that friendship for the remaining four years of his enlistment. Malcolm introduced me to his love for books,music and the meaning of life after several hours of deep drinking and thinking. Mark Twain was a favorite author and we attended a few one man plays depicting his wit and humor. We kept in contact for years afterward but for reasons known only to Malcolm, that communication stopped. I will miss him and at the same time regret that I was never able to tell him what a joy it was to call him my friend. Malcolm left a lasting impression on everyone he met. He had an impish grin that made him immediately likable. He could sweet talk anyone to get what he wanted. He enjoyed his time in the military mainly because he wasn't burdened by all the military rules. Malcolm was truly one of the characters of the game. He affected people probably more than he knew or would like to admit. Words cannot properly express my sorrow and my deepest sympathy goes out to his entire family. In the immortal words of Malcolm Glenn, WINTER WELL.

Bob Futrell

Carmichael, CA

Posted: 04/17/2009 07:54 PM

Although I never had the privilege of meeting Malcolm, I know that I would have loved him. Visiting with Nancy shortly after his passing, I learned a lot about the man I never knew. She spoke of him with so much love in her eyes, and it was very evident the deep devotion they had for one another. What a wonderful life they must have had together. What they shared is so inspirational and a true and wonderful example of what a marriage should be. Nancy, I more than admire your strength and devotion. I can't begin to say how touched I was by the story you told of your lives together, and how you helped to make his passing as peaceful as anyone could ever wish for. It's apparent that the Lord had a plan when he had the two of you meet. From what you shared with me, I know that Malcolm left this world a lot more beautiful than it was when he arrived in it. What a wonderful legacy he has shared with us all. I'm proud to have known him....if only through the precious memories you shared with me. My prayers are with you and your loved ones. And as always......I'm here for you.

Joni Thibodeaux

Gilmer,, Texas

Posted: 04/17/2009 09:03 AM

I met Malcolm in June 1972 at Mather AFB Ca. We were both in the Air Force teaching young Air Force Navigators para-sail, water survival and how to survive the elements while flying.I was suppose to be his boss but we never looked at it that way. He was a very special friend. We would spend time hiking,camping and fishing in the Sierra Nevada mountians east of Sacramento, Ca.which alawys was a very enjoyable time. Sunday evenings as BBQ ribs were cooking on the grill I would hear a old blue school bus, that Malcolm called home, come down the street with his next best friend Collie a very beautiful dog. After dinner he would show our son John how to skateboard. I retired from the Air Force in Nov 1976 and Malcolm left the service. He helped me drive some of my vehicles back to Missouri.We even hauled a large wooden bust of Mark Twain back to his mother bookstore in Kansas City. When he met Nancy I was very honored to be ask to be a part of their wedding.They provided a very nice cabin on the lake for us. My toast to them was " Malcolms mother raised & took care of him in his younger years,I raised him in the Military now Nancy it is your turn".I know she had her hands full. There is so much more I could say I know Malcolm will greatly be miss by all who knew him. I shall always remember him and all the good times. He was a great friend and a wonderful person. Nancy, Matt and Mrs Glenn our deepest condolences from Larry, Beverly & John Knorr

Larr & Beverly Knorr

Maysville, Missouri

Posted: 04/14/2009 09:36 PM

Heading into this Summer without Malcolm will be difficult, he was a great teacher and friend. Malcolm had the talent for motivating young people and inspiring them to do not only great work, but spectacular work. He taught many of us to "Make Beauty." His personality and character were a joy to be around, especially at the picnic table. I feel very privledged to have known Malcolm, and grateful for what he taught me inside and outside of the garden. Malcolm will truly be missed. Tyler Curran

Tyler Curran

Bemidji, MN

Posted: 04/11/2009 10:22 AM

Dearest Nancy- To lose your husband after so many devoted years is unimaginable. I know the love you shared between each other was deep, passionate, honest and respectful. You were happy, you were in love - deeply. Our community has lost a man who made significant impact on so many young lives; as a boss, mentor, and teacher. The scholarship program he designed was terrific. It was brilliant. He had honor and respect for those employees and it seems they reciprocated. He also had high expectations! Both Chris & I enjoyed the times when we could share a hot summer day on the deck at Movil. The conversation was always inspirational and worthy. And to think Natalie has all those books now! WOW. Each time we open them, Malcolm will be in our hearts. Each time we paddle, we will dip the water in Malcolm's name. Some how Nance you will find the courage to get up each day. Remember that you have many friends and family who love you dearly and would do anything for you. Lean on us, let us help if we can. Matthew- It is so very hard to lose a parent. I am so very sorry. I hope that you and your mom can find solace together, maybe in sharing your memories you will be able to smile, laugh and cry. I believe Malcolm had a great impact on many. Please know you can call on us for anything - truly! Love you both very much - sister Bets & autie Bets

Betsy Tower

Hopkins, MN

Posted: 04/11/2009 07:01 AM

Malcolm was a great mentor to all of us in the "crew." His inspirations and influences will certainly be with us for the rest of our lives.

Andrew P. Clemenson

Moorhead, MN

Posted: 04/09/2009 01:29 PM

I cannot even began to count all the wonderful memories I have from working with Malcolm and Nancy. I will never forget all the time spent around the picnic table; laughing and enjoying each others company. Malcolm was a great man and an amazing mentor to me and many others. So much of what I am proud to be can be traced back to Malcolm. I value all of his lessons and teachings from always getting joy out of your work to attention to detail. He will be deeply missed by all. Nancy and family, my thoughts are with you during this tough time.

Chuck Anderson-Weir

Northfield, MN

Posted: 04/06/2009 09:44 AM

"Do you know why I Hired you? Because you had a firm handshake, and you looked me in the eyes when i met you." One of the many life lessons i learned from malcolm as both a boss and a friend. I know most who worked for malcolm and nancy would consider them as both. I have great memory upon memory of my times working for you two. Best of luck to you Nancy and Matt, and know that malcolm meant alot to alot of people and that he will never be forgotten.

Dustin Steigauf

Colorado Springs, CO

Posted: 03/29/2009 11:04 PM

Just got off the phone with my sister Nancy. She is leaving Texas tomorrow enroute to Bemidji. She hooks up with her wonderful son Matt (30 something) in a day or two for the Dirve North. They will be making many stops along the way to see relatives and friends. Nancy was 120% devoted to Malcolm throughouttheir marriage of 27 years. She respected his adamant wishes of no "medical intervention" despite knowing that his condition was life threatening. Malcolm had his own unique view of the world which in his mind revolved around his beloved Nancy. She will miss him dearly. A memorial service is planned for Sumer.

Steven J. DeKrey

Hong Kong, China

Posted: 03/29/2009 11:04 PM

A message to all of Malcolm's friends, family, and online guest book participants, past and future; Malcolm and I would have celebrated the 27th anniversery of our first date on March 26th this year. We then were married 4 months later. We talked about this on the day he died as well as many other things. His early death was not unexpected by either of us; however plans had been made for this summer and next fall, where Malcolm was so looking forward to a winter in Oregon's rain forest. The physician Malcolm did see last April stated that without further tests he did not know how to treat him. Malcolm then said that you will not be doing further tests because you will not be treating me. How Malcolm is that! So we left with a prescription for medications to treat the deblilitating symtoms which worked brilliantly. After several months the quality of his life was much improved and he was able to go back to the work he so loved, making beauty. He was able to work on his numerous summer projects and to complete a garden that he had designed and worked on for 7 years which he was very much devoted to and which he considered his magnum opus. Malcolm was never in any pain and after a 3 day spiral downward he died in my arms in the home he so loved. His wishes were followed to the best of my ability and he was cremated. His ashes will be brought to Bemidji and scattered as he instructed verbally last summer. As for me, well, what can one do? My plan is to leave Refugio (which was our refuge for a time) on Monday, March 30th. Matt will join me in Little Rock, Arkansas on Good Friday (such good news for me!) and he will help me get home. We plan on stopping in Shawnee Mission, Kansas to spend some time with Ardis (Gigi), Malcolm's mother, on our way. My plan is to share this online guest book with her so I encourage you all and anyone else who has an interest to write and share your memories of Malcolm. We thank all of you for your support and thoughts. My email is and my phone number is 218-766-5144. Our sincere gratitude.

Nancy DeKrey Glenn

Refugio, Texas

Posted: 03/29/2009 02:58 PM

Nancy: What can I say? I am honestly as a loss of words. Tony, Aaron and I were in Mex. when we heard of Malcolm's passing. God be with you Nancy. Please know we are here for you and never feel you can't ask for help at this time. Remember, you both did so much for soooo many. Malcolm mentored, guided, helped, and most of all taught so many. Nancy S.

Nancy Swenson

Bemidji, MN

Posted: 03/29/2009 06:31 AM

Malcolm was such a great person to know and work for. He tought me to take pride in my work along with other life lessons. I constinly think back to my summers being around Malcolm and Nancy and how much i enjoyed them. Thank you both of you for giving that to me.

Marc Hawkins

Edina, MN

Posted: 03/27/2009 03:47 PM

I've spent the last few days thinking of all of the bits of wisdom Malcolm has passed down to me and to so many other young people and all of the memories I have with Malcolm. Words cannot convey my grief, but please know that I'm thinking of you, Nancy and Matt, and the world has truly lost a great, great man. Malcolm will certainly live on in my daily life and that of many of my friends and co-workers that he mentored. We will all miss and remember our friend and leader. His spirit will always be within all of the beauty he created. Best, Laura

Laura Eaton

Las Vegas, NV

Posted: 03/27/2009 12:20 PM

What can I say other than Malcolm will be greatly missed. He was a dear friend and great listener. He pulled me through some rough days at the Rutt and I will cherish the memories that were created over a long period of friendship. Nancy, anything you need just call me. Take one day at a time.

Blake Sutton

McAllen, TX

Posted: 03/26/2009 04:07 PM

Dear Nancy...A significant loss and the passing of a man who was a mentor and inspiration to many young people, a deeply caring individual, and a magician when it came to 'making beauty' in the garden. He will be sorely missed; and yet, his spirit will live on in all his creative works. You are in our thoughts and in our hearts. Most sincerely, Deb & Bill

Deborah Steinbar

Bemidji , MN

Posted: 03/26/2009 04:07 PM

Nancy & Matthew, DeKreys,and Glenn Family My thoughts and prayers are with you. May you find peace, smiles and laughter in your shared memeories of Malcolm.

Jennifer Jorstad

Brownsville, TX

Posted: 03/25/2009 01:24 PM

Nancy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Malcolm will be sorely missed. I will keep you both in my prayers. Leila

leila bruni

Bemidji, MN

Posted: 03/25/2009 01:24 PM

Nancy, Words can not express my grief. I will miss my good friend. Since the first day that I met him at Ruttgers he has always been an inspiration and source of strength for me. I will miss stopping by the shack and reliving old memories and creating new ones. Please, if there is anything that I or my folks can do, do not hesitate to ask. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Aaron Lundblad

St. Cloud, MN

Posted: 03/25/2009 01:24 PM