Glenn Samuel Banner, 88, of Lancaster died on Saturday June 11, 2022. He was married to Dorothy Leithiser with whom he shared 61 years of marriage.
Formerly from Columbia, Glenn graduated in 1951. He was a bank teller at the city’s National Central Bank before enlisting in the United States Navy for four years, serving in the Korean War at the headquarters of the Third Naval District in New York and later at the headquarters of the Caribbean Command in the Panama Canal Zone.
Upon graduation, he returned to banking before enrolling at Millersville State Teachers College in January 1957, after being inspired to do so by 12-year-old Wayne Heim, a student in his Sunday school class. Glenn was eventually hired to teach fifth grade in 1960 at James Buchanan Elementary School in Lancaster. After his second year of teaching, he followed his students from fifth grade to sixth grade, thus teaching the same students for two consecutive years. These young people were unknowingly going to change his career; for in September 1962, WITF began offering educational programs via television. The Lancaster Township School Board has decreed that each class will watch one program out of the approximately fifty that are offered. Glenn’s students voted and chose a program titled: Let’s Talk Spanish. Glenn became so interested in the language that he began studying it at F&M, Millersville, Kent State, La Universidad de San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, and finally La Universidad de Valencia in Spain. He was later certified to teach secondary education, earned a master’s degree, taught one year at Lancaster Township Jr. High, then moved on to Conestoga Valley High School where he taught over a thousand students. wonderful and dedicated students for twenty-two years. One day, near the end of his teaching career, the faculty were called to a meeting to be introduced to their new boss and deputy principal. Glenn almost collapsed when the gentleman was introduced as: Mr. Wayne Heim from nearby Columbia! It was indeed the grown-up version of the same 12-year-old boy who had inspired him to become a teacher some 30 years earlier!
Glenn enjoyed playing softball, baseball and tennis. By age 5 he was playing on the North End playground team and also joined the first “hardball” team placed in an official league by Columbia Moose Lodge at age 13 and later entered into the HS Columbia University. During the summers, he played at the American Legion Ball with Maytown and Marietta. His favorite personal sporting memory was winning the Caribbean Command championship against a naval base team of 8,000 men to form a team from. Glenn’s headquarters base consisted of exactly 36 men, only 13 of whom tried out for the team!
After learning to play tennis in Panama, he continued to play for forty years, coaching CV baseball and tennis teams for 18 seasons. His 1975 baseball team (boosted by Jeff Geyer, Steve Reese and Jim Lilley) won the section title.
At the age of 13, Glenn was seriously injured in a bicycle accident. Worn on crutches for six weeks and unable to play ball on the street or on the playground with his buddies, out of sheer desperation he picked up his parents’ pinochle deck of cards and began to shape his own game of baseball. Hearts were hits, diamonds were strikeouts, spades were pop fouls and strikeouts, etc. Soon his buddies were playing the game on the floors of their homes. Several years later, his Navy friends in New York and Panama got hooked. When he was released in 1956, the match was never replayed…until…1994, when when the big leaguers went on strike! Glenn missed the decks so much that he decided to redo his own deck and have all the information placed on professionally printed cards. Brookshire Printers produced it; and Glenn’s wife, Dorothy, suggested donating the game to local organizations to sell as a fundraiser. Three different youth groups ultimately made $50,000 from the games!
In the late 1960s, Glenn’s wonderful mother contracted Alzheimer’s disease. and his religious faith was so shaken that he refused to go to church for the next seven years. Then, in the mid-1970s, a special group of students went through his CV courses; and through a student named Doug Myer, he was invited to come to Calvary Church on Christmas Eve to hear the youth choir sing. This experience, coupled with a very special Christmas card from Doug, completely changed his life. He began attending Calvary Church the following week, fell in love with the Bible teaching he was hearing, and eventually took classes at three Bible colleges until he completed all 66 books. He then sought permission from Pastor Eric Creighton to teach adult classes and enjoyed that assignment for 22 years.
In 2013 Glenn was encouraged to put a clip of what he considered the most important lesson he had ever taught on a DVD. Eric Lee Productions prepared the sound portion, and Deep Focus Pictures (Jonathan Timerell) added incredibly appropriate visual effects. The disc is called Nail Prints for Us and can be obtained from Harvest Bible Church. (717-397-4371)
Eric Lee also provided all of the background music and sound effects for Glenn’s Civil War program on the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge Fire, a PowerPoint program that Glenn presented 430 times in seven different counties in southeastern New Brunswick. Pennsylvania. Its most memorable event was given in 1994 at the Gettysburg Seminary building, where generals from both armies climbed onto the building’s cupola for military observations during the great battle. The Civil War program was an offshoot of Glenn Flames’ novel Across the Susquehanna. He first conceived the book when he returned home from teaching in primary school after marveling at how much his fifth graders enjoyed hearing it read to them. It was during this short walk that he decided to write the story of the thrilling escapades of the Underground Railroad and the cataclysmic Civil War event of the burning of the longest covered wooden bridge in the world. world, all involving his hometown of Columbia. Later that night, Glenn made arrangements to meet Dr. John Denney, whom he interviewed two days later.
After Dr Denney shared as many memories as he could remember of his grandfather’s adventures on the night he and three other fellow townspeople helped destroy the bridge, he telephoned his neighbor Mr Emmitt Rasbridge, who was at the same time living in the old Wright mansion. Historically speaking, this second unexpected interview and visit to the mansion was to crown the most incredible evening of Glenn’s life!
As a child, Mr Rasbridge’s mother was close friends with the Wright family and took her son with her to visit them on numerous occasions. The Wrights treated young Emmitt like a son of their own, and he became extremely familiar with every nook and cranny of the old home and the old stronghold against Indian attack, even living in the house during his final years. . That night, Mr. Rasbridge showed Glenn two of the many secret passageways and the hidden room in the basement where people could easily be sequestered even for days, if necessary. Later, on the way back to Lancaster, Glenn remembered his body crawling with goosebumps and said to himself, “I have to write this book!”
Over the next few months Glenn wrote diligently every day, but the results were not to his satisfaction or that of his prospective publishers. Due to his teaching and mastering work, he put his efforts aside and almost forgot about his business until three years after his retirement. After nearly thirty years, he rediscovered the old manuscript on a shelf and began to resurrect his dream. He focused on further developing his characters and added several new scenes, weaving as much action into the story as he could generate.
When he was much more satisfied with the results, his wife Dorothy made it easier for him. She not only covered the printing expenses, but suggested donating the book to the Columbia Historical Preservation Society and allowing them to market the book as a fundraiser. Before long, Bob and Florence Miller along with Wayne Von Stetten were handling all the details, and the book was in their hands for the December 1993 Christmas sales. Having no idea how the books would sell, they printed 1800 copies, which sold out in just two days! They quickly printed 3200 more, and these sold out within months. Today, twenty years later, 25,000 copies have been printed. The book can still be purchased at the Columbia or Lancaster County Historical Society buildings.
One of Glenn’s most appreciated comments about his book came from a Lancaster County woman who spoke to him from his automobile. She asked if he was the author of Flames Across the Susquehanna. After Glenn pleaded guilty, she remarked, “I just finished reading it on Tuesday. The next morning I was so sorry I was done with it…I just took it back and I I started all over again! So there. Just thought you’d like to know.”
It was fun to write this, and in closing, I would like to thank everyone who has spent meaningful time with me throughout my life and shared the wonderful eight decades the Lord has bestowed upon me. My secret wish is that each of you had, or will have, a Doug Myer (or perhaps a Janet Myer) come into your life and help you find your way… to Eternal Life. I fervently hope to see you each…in paradise! (I John 5:13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
Surviving Glenn in addition to his wife Dorothy, are several nieces and nephews. Glenn was predeceased by his parents Samuel Frederick and Ruth Esta (Kreider) Banner, his brother Craig A. Banner and his sister Lois Hostetter.
A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., followed by the celebration of Glenn’s life at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 9, 2022, at Harvest Bible Church with the Reverend Jonathan Walters officiating. Interment will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 11, 2022 at Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens, Columbia, PA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Harvest Bible Church, 1460 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.
Glenn would like to extend the invitation if you don’t have a home church, please visit Harvest Bible Church and listen to Jon Walters preach and teach the Word.
To send your condolences online, please visit: SnyderFuneralHome.com