Not long after moving to Maryland in 1974 I attended a meeting at Middletown Elementary School. We all wore name tags, which was a blessing, as I did not know anyone. A friendly woman strucxk up a conversation with me and, glancing at my name tag, she commented on my unusual last name. I told her I had traded in “Wilson” for “Glagola” when I married. She replied that she had gone to college with a football player with that name. “Where did you go to college?” I asked. She said she had gone to the University of California at Berkeley. I told her that she must have been referring to my husband, Steve, as we had also graduated from Berkeley. As it turned out, Pat and I had lived in sororities across the street from each other and had probably passed each other many times but hasd never met. We had to move across the country to Middletown to find each other. That was the beginning of a long friendship.
We spent many hour talking about our college days and our children. She had two boys and a girl, and I had four boys of similar ages. We took a lot of day trips, and Pat helped me enjoy the sights of Washington, DC, which she knew well. Four of us traveled to Arizona and New Mexico and had a wonderful time exploring. Pat was very interested in Native American culture and was a source of knowledge and endless enthusiasm.
Joan Crouse and I welcomed Pat into our Friday-night-dinner-and-a-movie adventure. We all loved movies and gradually evolved to “assigned” seats at the theatre, Pat in the middle and the emotional one. Joan and I would sit quietly while Pat would tear up, laugh heartily… whatever the movie dictated. She REALLY enjoyed the movies!
Pat was compassionate, considerate, and always willing to help. After my husband was killed by a drunk driver in 1994, she listened to my sorrows and helped dry my tears and also helped me to remember the good times. She was a good friend: she really cared! More recently, she drove me to Johns Hopkins for two eye surgeries and stayed with me for several days. Little did we know that two weeks later her brain cancer would be discovered.
Pat left an indelible memory on my life and so many others she came into contact with. She had a brilliant mind, and love of life, adventure, family and friends. As Joan and I carry on our mvoie tradition, there will always be an empty seat in our hearts. We love you, Pat, and you will be truly missed.
In memory of my dear friend, Pat Chambers —
July 29, 2007
One thought on “Helen Glagola”
Helen, I was in Pre-flight at NAS Pensacola, Class 42-60, with Steve Glagola. He played football at Cal and also rugby. He married Helen right after we were commissioned. They went to Hawaii. Had a baby shortly thereafter. Last I saw of them was when I was in Hawaii with VAH-13 aboard the USS KITTY HAWK around 61-62. Are you Steve’s wife by chance?