Life Story / Obituary
Glen Younker was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Good-natured and incredibly selfless, he leaves behind a rich legacy of accepting all people with compassion. His warm memories and loving ways will be deeply cherished by all who knew and loved him.
1931 saw crippling effects on the nation’s economy. Car manufacturers went out of business as people did not have the funds to purchase them. The severe drought that hit the Midwest caused food to be scarce and turned some areas into dust bowls. Glen Edward was born to loving parents, Edward and Helen (Lindner) Younker, on July 24th in Hammond, Indiana. Born after his older sister, Kathryn, his birth was a shining moment during tough economic times.
Reflecting on his childhood, he lived through the challenges of WWII and the Great Depression. His father worked as a meat cutter at Burger’s Grocery and his mother was a homemaker. Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Glen was prone to various ways to earn an extra buck from an early age. He attended Kenwood and Wallace Elementary Schools before he landed at Hammond High. In high school, Glen enjoyed running track. In 1948, just a year before his senior year, he first met Jackie Roper when his sister Kay married Jackie’s cousin Rich.
After graduating with the Class of 1949, he went to work with his dad at Burger’s. Never settling for less than his best, he started as a clean-up boy, but eventually worked his way to a meat cutter and then a management position. Later in 1953, Jackie and her brother George, who also worked at Burgers, went to the movies with Glen. Sparks ignited between Glen and Jackie. After a couple of years of dating, they joined in marriage on April 2, 1955, at First Christian Church. The newlyweds honeymooned in beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia. Together, they proudly raised seven wonderful children: Tonnie, Keith, Cindy, Kevin, Kenneth, Kerry, and Kelly.
As a father, Glen was always active and busy. Jackie stayed home with the kids, while he continued his work at Burger’s. As they settled into their new home in Dyer, Glen was always doing projects. He painted every room in the house multiple times over the years. He found great satisfaction in being frugal enough to mix his Menard’s paints and freshen up large areas including the driveway, house, and deck. Glen always kept himself busy maintaining and updating the family home. Glen’s yard was a source of pride to him, and he always kept it meticulously groomed. The kids remember cleaning their rooms every day and completing many chores throughout their growing years.
As a family, they took several road trips in their converted bus to Turkey Run, McCormick Creek, and Clifty Falls State Park. They loved adventure, including the thrill of amusement parks. Glen loved riding the big coasters with his kids whenever they visited any park. During the summer time when the family was not traveling, time was spent at the family cottage that Glen and his father built together in 1948 and is still being enjoyed by family and friends 75 years later. His work later moved them to Findlay, Ohio, Rockford, Michigan and finally Flushing, Michigan. His children credit him for their ability to take life’s challenges in stride and to build positive relationships with others.
Once the children were grown, he and Jackie were given more time to develop their common goals and interests. In addition to their square dancing and bowling, they started Slip Knot a distribution business of non-skid flooring materials for meat departments. They also attended several conventions for NARGUS (National Association of Retail Groceries of the US) where Glen gave speeches on meat merchandising. Always thinking about the future of merchandising meat, Glen was a pioneer in packaging the first premade meals for families that were sold in supermarkets. He was proud of his work, was well known in the industry, and made many special connections with customers and retailers throughout his career before retiring in 1987 due to the beginning of congestive heart failure. In spite of his health condition, Glen never slowed down. He and Jackie had a beautiful life together. During retirement, they enjoyed traveling with close friends to Las Vegas (Glen loved playing the slot machines!) and later Florida during the long winter months. The two of them shared many special memories gathering with friends and family often including meals shared together. Glen was a meat and potatoes man, but also enjoyed his seafood and never passed up his sweets! He loved a good pastry, coffee cake, Rice Krispie treats, or vanilla custard and even churned his own homemade ice cream.
Being a great storyteller, Glen loved telling a good story and making others laugh. He was not shy about embellishing his tales to get even more laughter. Glen lived his life as if on the roller coasters he so enjoyed! May the treasured memories he shared stay forever in the hearts of his loved ones and may they find great comfort in knowing they were loved beyond measure. Mr. Glen Edward Younker, age 92, of Grand Rapids, MI, and formerly of Dyer, IN, passed away on January 18, 2024. Glen was preceded in death by his parents, Edward (Helen) Younker; and sister, Kathryn (Richard) LeVine. Glen is survived by his wife of 68 years, Jackie Younker; children, Tonnie Pahl, Keith (Donna)Younker, Cindy Bielak, Kevin (KarRon) Younker, Kenneth (Lori) Younker, Kerry (Patty) Younker, and Kelly (Terry) Younker; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and 9 great-great-grandchildren. Glen was born and spent most of his life in northwest Indiana. Over the years he made many friends and acquaintances through his life’s work as a butcher and meat department manager. He worked many years at Burgers grocery store and later in life was an influential public speaker for the meat industry across the country. He enjoyed many activities with his wife including bowling, square dancing, hosting parties, and traveling. He loved spending time and making memories with his seven children at their cottage in Decatur, MI. His presence will be missed but his memories will be cherished.
Join the family in celebrating Glen at a visitation and sharing of life stories on Thursday, January 25, 2024, from 5-8 PM at Smits Funeral Home, 2121 Pleasant Springs Lane, Dyer, IN 46311. Family and friends are also invited to attend Glen’s funeral service to be held at 11 AM on Friday, January 26, 2024, at Smits Funeral Home. Visitation will be available before the Funeral at 10 am. The interment will be at Skyline Memorial Park, Monee, IL. Contributions in his memory may be made to the charity or hospice of your choice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, or photo or to sign the guestbook online.