By Inez Bergquist
Gary Gliem, a long time member of Generations (Saint Mark’s planned giving group), departed this life in December 26, 2013. He left many good friends at Saint Mark’s and in the Loring Park community.
Gary was born 1944, son of Dick and Doris Gliem, and grew up in South Minneapolis. He was baptized and confirmed at Christ Church Lutheran, a beautiful Eero Saarinern-designed church on 34th Avenue.
Gary graduated from the University of Minnesota, a major in Theater. Always fond of clothing and fashion, he was one of Dayton’s Department Store models in the 1970’s. Gary also worked on organizing and executing runway shows (where he cut a dashing figure), and was a buyer for Guthrie Theater Gift Shop in the 1980’s.
For the last 20 years he was a wedding coordinator and Lead Wedding Coordinator at Saint Mark’s. Gary was passionate about this ministry-and really enjoyed working with couples who chose St. Mark's for their special day. Presenting St. Mark’s in all its glory was a joy for him.
Gary served on the Property Committee for many years. His humor and observations about property and how things should be done were very helpful. Always a contributor and willing to pitch in, he was an invaluable member of the committee. Gary co chaired Cathedral Cleanup Day over the years which involved cleaning the Nave, Chancel, Hewitt chapel and the balcony.
Mary Pagnucco, from the Property Committee, recalls that she once mentioned to Gary that it looked like he was strutting up the aisle after taking Communion. He reminded her that he used to walk the runway modeling men's attire. He had a really good sense of humor.
For the last 4 years of his life, Gary was President of Citizens for Loring Park Community; an organizer of the Love Loring fundraiser; a contributor to Loring Park Master Plan, and very involved with this organization for his neighborhood. He made a significant contribution to the Loring Park community.
Jana Metge, Citizens for Loring Park Coordinator, said “Gary Gliem served as the Treasurer and then President of Citizens for a Loring Park Community, the neighborhood group for Loring Park. Gary developed a Fundraiser/Silent Auction called "Love Loring" which we will carry on in his name and invite anyone from Saint Mark's to attend. Gary was dedicated, loyal & committed to his neighborhood and a good, dear friend to me.”
An admirer of visual beauty and the arts, Gary was a collector of Japanese prints, many of which were given to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts after his death. He was also very fond of attending the theatre-actually, performances of any kind-and was an astute critic.
Gary was a dedicated member of Saint Mark’s Altar Guild, and made many artistic contributions to the vestments and linens of Saint Mark's. He also worked at Monday night supper to serve homeless youth. Gary’s altar guild contributions of time and artistry were much appreciated by Altar Guild. He very much felt it was important to give wisely and specifically, such as Director's Veil used on Maundy Thursday, and a Lay Eucharistic Minister kit.
Chris Slater said of their personal and professional friendship, “Gary gave freely and honestly of his time to friends. He was an extremely loyal friend, honest, truthful, picky, although exasperating at times! He believed in doing things well or don't bother.
As one altar guild member said to me, ‘I'll miss your saying, 'Oh, that Gary.’ He had an amazing mind- he remembered absolutely everything! He taught me so much about things I was never exposed to before. Personally, I still miss him terribly...irreplaceable.”
Gary is deeply missed, but there are many great memories of who he was, how he lived his life up to the end, and how much he meant to Saint Mark's.