TRIBUTE: A World War II fighter pilot about to celebrate his 70th wedding anniversary was named the Woodcliff Lake Planning Board’s first Chairman Emeritus.
Ken Glemby, 91, has lived in the borough 50 years and served the planning board for 17.
He and his wife, Paula, purchased property on Kenwood Drive in 1963 and built their home while renting on Saddle River Road. They moved in a year later. This August they celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, said their daughter, Ellen Ferne Glemby.
“The running joke in the family is that my mother has been married to my father for 69 years, but that my father has been married to my mother for 80, since the day he first met Mom at camp one summer,” she said.
“As with many people of that generation, their lives were shaped by the war,” Glemby told a large gathering of current and former borough officials who paid tribute to her father at Monday night’s Planning Board meeting.
“Dad was one of, if not the youngest pilot in the war. He flew almost 100 sorties over France and Germany as a fighter pilot,” she said.
“The plane he flew was a P47 Thunderbolt with an incredible top speed of 400 miles per hour, which he named, ‘The Paula’ after my mother. Dad was one of those pilots at the Battle of the Bulge that was in the providing air support for the battle, as soon as the weather lifted.”
He still has a letter from General Patton to his division in recognition of their heroism.
“It is one of his treasured possessions,” Glemby’s daughter said.
He also prizes the title of Woodcliff Lake’s very first Planning Board Chairman Emeritus, which was conceived by Councilwoman Donna Abene along with Mayor Jeffrey Goldsmith.
Goldsmith spoke in honor of Glemby, as did former mayor and current Planning Board member Josephine Higgins and former mayor Joseph LaPaglia, among others.
The distinction, his daughter said, is “a great confirmation of a life well spent.”
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