Glenn George Bartels was born the youngest of 5 children on May 14, 1939 to George and Helen Bartels in Peetz, CO. He graduated from Peetz High School in 1957 where he was actively involved with the school’s FFA program. After graduating, he attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO where he met his beloved wife Carol, and the two were married on August 21, 1960. Glenn later transferred to Colorado State University and earned his degree in Vocational Agriculture. The couple moved to Mitchell, NE in 1961 Where Glenn held his first and only teaching position. While at Mitchell, Glenn expanded the FFA program to the largest it has ever been. In 1963 they welcomed their first child Mike. In 1965, Glenn, Carol, and Mike moved to North Platte, NE where he worked as a land appraiser for the John Hancock Insurance, CO. In the spring of 1966, Glenn was making a call on the First State Bank in Gothenburg, NE and the bank president, Earl VanSteenburg, offered him a job. The family moved to Gothenburg that summer and were greeted later that year by their second child Kevin, and in 1973, third child Scott joined the family. In 1974, Glenn became the president of First State Bank and held that position for 20 years.
Glenn was very active in community affairs and development. Glenn was active in the First United Methodist Church, the Lion’s Club, the Gothenburg Volunteer Fire Department, a founding member of the Gothenburg Improvement Company (GIC), the Knights of AKSARBEN, and the Nebraska Diplomats.
Glenn’s first major community accomplishment was being a member of the hospital board and was instrumental in the building of a new hospital, which today has become one of the most successful in the area. Through his work with the hospital board, Glenn was instrumental in the recruitment of numerous doctors and other health professionals. As a member of the GIC, Glenn was instrumental in the recruitment of Farmland Industries, Goshen Rubber Company, Baldwin Filters, Frito-Lay, and a host of other businesses and individuals. All of Glenn’s community involvement helped with Gothenburg being named an All American City. One of Glenn’s crowning achievements was the building of the Gothenburg Senior Center. Through his own mother, Glenn saw the need for a place for Gothenburg’s senior citizens to congregate. This need was so great that through fundraising, Glenn was able to secure funding for the entire project in just a few days!
Glenn’s community activism and recruitment efforts resulted in numerous awards from the GIC, the Dawson Area Development, the Knights of AKSARBEN, and the Nebraska Diplomat’s prestigious “Sowers Award” given for his extraordinary ability to bring business and industry to Nebraska. His recruitment activities never ceased as numerous family vacations, at some point, involved him “selling” Nebraska or Gothenburg! In fact, shortly after having triple bypass heart surgery, Glenn found out one of the PA’s was finishing her training and was actively trying to recruit her to Gothenburg! In retirement, Glenn used his gift of gab and landed the perfect job working for the Nebraska Department of Tourism. Glenn loved Gothenburg and worked to improve the community until he no longer could.
Glenn is preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Genevieve McKinney and Dorothy Davis, grandson Shaun, and special nieces and nephews Larry Davis and Mark and Cindy Fleming. Glenn is survived by his beloved wife Carol of 60 years, sons Mike (Linda), Kevin (Becky), and Scott (Wendy), grandchildren Steve, Elizabeth, CC, Ali, Michael, Ty, Addison, Maria and Trey, and great grandchildren Hayden, Shelby, Finley, Jaxx, and Ethan, and two sisters Etta (Kenneth) Williams and Marlene “Corky” (Kenneth) Fleming.
Visitation will be held at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Gothenburg, Nebraska; Sunday, November 29, 2020, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm with the family present from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm.
Services will be held at First United Methodist Church, Monday, November 30, 2020 at 10:30 am with Pastor Grace Gichuru officiating. The funeral will be live streamed and the link can be found under Glenns name on www.blasestrauser.com. Masks are required and all CDC guidelines and current DHM's will be followed.
Interment will follow in the Gothenburg Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to the family for a scholarship that is being created in Glenn's name.