Memorial Gift to Purple Paws From...

Glenn T. Hartke Sr.

Dr. Glenn T. Hartke, Sr. was called home to be reunited with the love of his life, Marie (Helms) Hartke, on December 28, 2023. 

Glenn was born on May 6, 1931, to Ted and Marie Hartke in Lincolnville, KS. He had four siblings, brothers Larry and Merle and sisters Marceline and Juanita. He attended Hartke School in Marion County Kansas for grades 1-3, moving to Lutheran Parochial School for grades 4-8. Glenn was an active student at Lincolnville High School from 1946-1949 where he lettered in basketball, baseball, pitching two no-hitters, and played American Legion ball. Glenn also stayed active working a variety of part time jobs while attending high school and was not afraid of hard work.

Glenn could be found working at the service station, the grain elevator, grocery store, unloading carloads of coal or in the fields of farms either shocking grain crops, blocking or bailing hay. Glenn was truly happiest working in agriculture and was on a custom harvest crew working from Oklahoma to Canada. His ability to operate machinery including combines and hauling trailered farm equipment made him a valuable asset to the harvest crew. Glenn remained close to his farm roots working for Co-op Oil Co as he drove a bulk truck delivering gas to local farmers. 

Glenn had a true love of learning, acquiring valuable life skills including learning Morse code while in high school and later put that knowledge to good use working for Rock Island Railroad following graduation from high school as an Agent Telegrapher, working in Texas and Oklahoma.

In 1949, Glenn, proud to serve his community and his country, enlisted in the Air Force. He completed basic training and tech training at Brooks Air Force Base. Following completion of his training, he was assigned to the United States Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) where he served as a Communication Analyst in the 136th Communications Security Service. This elite group of the United States Air Force was tasked with monitoring, collecting, and interpreting military voice and electronic signals of other countries. Glenn worked in both cryptographic and traffic analysis. During his service, Glenn was deployed to Tripoli, Libya, stationed at Wheelus Air Force Base where he served a four-year assignment. Glenn was then assigned to Detachment 13 in Brooks Air Force Base and finished his service career being reassigned to headquarters of the USAFSS at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tx.

In 1954, Glenn found the love of his life, Marie Helms. They were married for 60 years. During this same year, Glenn was pulled to his true mission in life, caring for animals and enrolled in The Veterinary School of Medicine at K-State. He graduated in 1960 with his DVM and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. For the next three years, he worked as a veterinarian in Wichita Kansas while also working for the USDA.

In January of 1961, their marriage was blessed with one son, Teddy, who was their pride and joy. Teddy, like his parents, was not afraid of hard work, building a successful business, as the owner/operator of The Gallery for Hair in Manhattan, Kansas.

Glenn joined the faculty of Kansas State Veterinary Medicine in 1963 teaching various courses, while pursuing his own love of learning, and earning his MS in Pathology in 1965.

Glenn’s love for animals and for learning combined into a once in a lifetime experience when, in 1965, he was chosen to head up a team of veterinarians, who under the auspices of KSU and USAID (United States Aid for International Development) traveled to Zaria, Nigeria where they developed a 4 year veterinary college at Ahmadu Bello University. Glenn continued his passion for teaching others serving as Head of Anatomy, Head of Surgery and Assistant Dean. Glenn, his wife, and son remained in Nigeria until 1970 when they returned to their roots in Manhattan, Kansas. Glenn rejoined the faculty of the KSU Veterinary School of Medicine while continuing his own education, completing his Ph.D. in Pathology. The depth of Glenn’s knowledge was evidenced by the wide array of courses he taught including Gross and Microscopic Anatomy, Surgical and Topographical Anatomy. Glenn was a pioneer in the teaching of ultrasonic imaging in veterinary medicine to the students of the KSU Veterinary School. Glenn also enjoyed research, including topics such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and the ejection fraction of the heart in Greyhounds. You will find Glenn’s work still in use today in the texts and manuals used to teach Gross and Surgical Anatomy in most Veterinary Colleges.

Glenn received the Distinguished Teacher Award several times and served as faculty advisor to Veterinary Medicine Students for many years. Glenn was most proud of the opportunity to teach, advise and instruct almost 1,500 students during his tenure at KSU. Glenn’s life was touched by each student he encountered and stated countless times that “the KSU veterinary students were the greatest bunch of people in the whole world”.

In 1996, after 30+ years of teaching, Glenn decided he was ready to reap the benefits of a life well lived and retired from teaching. Glenn, Marie, and Teddy created many great family memories as they traveled the world, having visited most of the countries in Europe, Africa and almost every state in the US. Glenn was blessed to have been surrounded by so many wonderful students, faculty, friends, and family.

Glenn is survived by son, Teddy Hartke, Manhattan, Kansas and brother Larry Hartke, DVM of Emporia, Kansas.

The family asks that anyone wishing to honor Glenn may send donations in his name to Purple Power Animal Welfare Society (Purple PAWS) , in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home at 1616 Poyntz Ave, Manhattan, KS 66502

A destination Celebration of Life is being planned for late spring/early summer 2024, the details of which will be shared on this site once finalized. Teddy wishes to thank all for the overwhelming love and support and hopes you will be able to join him to celebrate Glenn later this year.

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