Glenn Hiram Waful passed away on the evening of January 30, 2018, at Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, NY – just 34 days after his 100th birthday.
Born in Watertown in 1917, he was a 1935 graduate of Evans Mills High School. Continuing his quest to study forestry and surveying, he then took advanced math courses at Watertown High School. He had been inspired by an uncle who, in 1908, had worked with Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant (son of Ulysses S. Grant) surveying the area for a permanent US Army training site, forerunner of today’s Ft. Drum.
This area, as many others, was still showing the effects of the Great Depression of the 1920’s during the 1930’s. Some farms, however, needed seasonal help and Glenn was able to work and save enough to enroll in New York State Ranger School – College of Forestry, at Wanakena, NY. In 1938 he enrolled in and graduated from the Ranger School. For the past several years, he was the school’s oldest living graduate. One of his more memorable jobs leading up to Ranger School was working on the large Bowman potato farm. In one day, he picked, crated and loaded on trucks – 170 bushels at the pay rate of three cents per bushel – a grand total of $5.10 for the day’s work.
On April 12, 1941, Glenn enlisted in the US Army Medical Corp, became an NCO, then applied for and was commissioned an officer upon graduation from Combat Engineer OCS in 1942. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations in three major combat campaigns. He was discharged following World War II at the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
Shortly following his discharge, he began working as a surveyor and construction engineer for NYS-DOT in the Syracuse Region 3, where he spent the next 25 years until his retirement. Glenn was well-respected by his co-workers for his expertise in surveying and his meticulous attention to detail.
Glenn developed the southeast shore of South Sandy Pond in the town of Sandy Creek, NY, where he made his home for the past 70 years. He held life memberships in the Sandy Pond Sportsman’s Association; VFW Post 8534 in Lacona, NY; the New York State Association of Highway Engineers and the Nature Conservancy. Glenn was a true believer in the Conservancy’s mission of “Conserve the land and water upon which all life depends.” He donated wetlands and woodlands to the Nature Conservancy. Closeness to nature and a commitment to conservation will always be part of his enduring legacy.
Glenn was pre-deceased by his wife Norma Smith Waful, his parents Perl Waful and Nellie Wilson Waful, sister Vivian Cummings and brother Ralph. Surviving are niece Gail Winters of Keesville, NY, niece Jill (John) Mussen of Parryville, MD, and nephew Kenneth Waful of Harrison, NY, and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held in late Spring 2018 when he will be reunited with his wife Norma at the Marion Cemetery in Wayne County, NY.