Glen Walter Legler was a master of gab. He had an easygoing way about him, with an infectious smile that brought out the conversation in everyone he met. He loved to learn about the people around him, and everyone who knew Glen had a personal relationship with him. Many people considered him to be their second father, and they loved, honored, and appreciated the guidance and direction he provided. Growing up in a large close-knit family provided the solid foundation for the life of love, honesty, integrity, and hard work that he lived and expected of others.
Glen built a wonderful family with his wife Patti whom he met in 1974 through his cousin and her best friend in high school, Janette Reihm. Patti was going to school in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Glen was teaching math in Denver Colorado. Patti used any opportunity she could to visit Janette and Glen, and in 1976 Glen and Patti wed in Craig Colorado. They then moved to Casper Wyoming to begin their busy and wonderful life. Soon after they welcomed their four children: Jason, Brad, Scott, and Stacy. As Glen got older he became busier; however, no matter how busy he was, when his children called, he answered. Whether it was his liberal son Jason calling to argue about politics, his handy son Brad calling for construction advice, his perpetually insecure son Scott calling to make sure that he was doing a good job as a new parent, or his directionally challenged daughter Stacy calling when she was lost, he always had the time to talk. The only time he didn’t answer was when he physically couldn’t, because his surroundings were too loud, or because he was crushing 150 yard drives off the tee box on the golf course. Glen had two hole-in-ones in his lifetime.
Beyond his home life, he was intensely involved in his community. If his service to the community was a hurricane, his office at Natrona County High School was the eye. He utilized all of his resources at NCHS, as well as the countless organizations he was a part of, in any way he could to ensure that the kids in his community were being given every opportunity to succeed. He always put their needs first and helped steer those around him to do the same. He understood that if a plan took years to implement, it could negatively impact hundreds of kids’ entire athletic careers. He moved swiftly and with purpose to make sure that kids got all of the opportunities they deserved.
Glen was a talented man. In what little free time he had he enjoyed singing barbershop with the Oil City Slickers, a love he shared with his mother Maxine who sang in her own barbershop group. He spoke passionately about the joy of ringing chords with his friends. Food was also a love of his. When he wasn’t working in various volunteer roles following his retirement, he spent what little time he had buying cookbooks and performing culinary experiments on his lovely wife. Despite his absolute love of the state of Wyoming and his adamant belief that it was the best place in the world to live, travel agreed with him. He flew to conferences around the country and made frequent trips to visit two of his sons in Oregon with Patti. He always acquired enough shampoo, conditioner, and body wash from the various hotels that he stayed in to fill all of his kids’ stockings with this rather bizarre stocking stuffer during the holidays.
Glen was a master at coming up with strange phrases, often directed at his kids. His most-used “Glenism” was to take whatever you claimed to be doing and then threaten to do that action “up the side of your head.” For example: “Dad, we’re playing with that!” to which he would promptly respond, “I’ll play with that up the side of your head.” This go-to phrase was used constantly and often lovingly mocked by his children. He also had special abilities. Sleeping in front of the blaring TV provided an opportunity for him to exercise his unique sixth sense. Glen, while sleeping, was able to detect when one of his children or his wife was about to grab the controller and change the channel or turn down the TV and stop them in their tracks.
Following his retirement from NCHS in 2009, Glen became more active in various organizations across the state of Wyoming, always with the emphasis firmly on the needs of kids in the community. Despite the fact that he had spent 17 years as an AD and 19 years before that as a teacher, 36 years of his life, dad continued to work in the community. During his retirement he was also put to work by his second son Brad doing manual labor on Brad’s house, which he also loved. He was a hard worker in every way and appreciated that quality when he saw it in others. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty. Retirement for him was more of a label than an actual experience. Dad never quit working.
Glen’s life concluded when he collapsed from a heart arrhythmia while working on preparations for state basketball a year and a half after his official retirement. The arrhythmia was likely a symptom of a previous, yet unknown, heart attack that he had apparently not had the time to fully experience several months earlier. He was notoriously tardy and his exodus from this life, which was likely intended to be from that earlier unnoticed heart attack, was no exception. He collapsed while he was working, and he died peacefully with his entire family around him on March 12, 2011 at 2:55pm, the time the final school bell would ring at his first teaching job in Lakewood, Colorado.
Glen Walter Legler
Glen Walter Legler was born June 25th, 1950 in Cody Wyoming to Fred and Maxine Legler. He died on March 12th, 2011 at Wyoming Medical Center in Casper Wyoming, leaving behind his wife Patti. He is survived by his three sons, Jason, Brad (Ashle), and Scott, his daughter Stacy, and his grandson Adrian. He also leaves his older brother Larry (Mary) of Sheridan, older sister Patty Bronnenberg of Cody, twin brother Fritz (Sue) of Powell, younger sister Jennet (Pat) Ballinger of Dubois, cousin/honorary sister Janette Reihm of Cortez, Colorado, brother and sister-in-law Jim and Kathy Simpson of Craig CO, and numerous nieces and nephews as well as the entire community of Casper Wyoming. He was predeceased by his parents.
A memorial service will be held at Highland Park Community Church in Casper Wyoming on Thursday, March 17th at 4pm, and Newcomer Funeral Home will oversee services. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to SafeKids of Wyoming care of Wyoming Medical Center Foundation, 1233 East 2nd st. Casper, WY 82601 or The Glen Legler Scholarship care of Wells Fargo Bank, P.O. Box 2799, Casper, WY 82601.