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Walter Merrill Glasgow was born December 30, 1928 and died on November 18, 2022, age 93, after a long, lucky, happy, and incredibly wonderful life.
On July 2, 1955, Merrill married Betsy Parker Fauntleroy. Their love affair lasted for over 67 years. Merrill is survived by Betsy, their seven children, and their spouses (Gaylord Glasgow Lummis & Bradley; Walter Merrill Glasgow, Jr. & Amy; William Parker Glasgow & Kelly; Elizabeth Glasgow Schiffer & Adam; John Hargadine Glasgow & Marjorie; Virginia Glasgow Leffler & Scott; and Julia Glasgow Engelbrink & Ethan), plus 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, whose many names are too numerous to fit on the pages of this newspaper. He was extremely proud of his ever growing family and rejoiced in each new addition.
Merrill was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, graduated from Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and received his Atrium Baccalaureus (known as a BA at any other school) from Harvard University and MBA from Harvard Business School. During his college years, Merrill worked at various jobs: in a bank, a snuff factory, a law firm, a meat packing plant, as a Staff Sergeant and tank commander in the Massachusetts National Guard, and most lucratively, as the “house” for poker games in his college. In 1952, he received a direct commission as Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, where he flew a desk for the Air Material Command in San Bernardino, California.
After moving to Houston, Merrill went to work for Gulf Atlantic Warehouse Co., a subsidiary of Anderson, Clayton & Co. After only three months as a Junior Clerk, Merrill (an officer, gentleman, and scholar) was promoted to Assistant Foreman in charge of a three-man crew sweeping cotton warehouse floors. Very quickly, he moved to the corporate office of Gulf Atlantic and then on up to Anderson Clayton where he was Vice President of Corporate Planning & Business Development. After many years helping to build Anderson Clayton into a multinational corporation, he was tasked with selling the company itself, which resulted in handsome payouts to the stockholders and an unwelcome early retirement for Merrill.
Never one to sit still, for the next 30 + years Merrill worked as an executive of several businesses in Houston and could be seen at his office every day until the year of COVID. In his “retirement”, Merrill served on the Board of Directors of Compass Bank, as an arbitrator, an expert in finance, and as a free money manager for his children. As a testament to his ability to negotiate between differing entities, his longest running title was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Longshoreman’s Association Locals 1525 and 1581, Pension, Vacation & Welfare Funds at no pay and with no perks, having never belonged to the Union.
Merrill worked tirelessly for the community. He worked for the Ripley Foundation (now known as BakerRipley) for over 50 years, as Director, President, and Chairman. He served on the boards of the Covenant House, the Contemporary Arts Museum, and The Amazing Place. He was a member of St. Anne’s Church, for which he served on numerous committees and passed out thousands of hot dogs at the annual Fall Fiesta.
Merrill was not all work and no play, as evidenced by his association with many social clubs. He was a member of the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, the Houston Country Club, the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770, the Southern Club of Harvard, the Memphis Country Club, and the Houston Club.
True to his talent for organization, Merrill drafted a version of this obituary. True to his frugality, Merrill cautioned us: “I believe the newspaper charges $12 per line, so you might prefer a shorter version.” To which we reply, “no Merrill, you are totally worth it.”
For the past few years, Merrill was assisted by wonderful nurses who took care of him and became part of our family.
In lieu of flowers, donations to BakerRipley or the charity of your choice are deeply appreciated. A funeral will be held on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 10:00am at St. Anne’s Catholic Church. There will be a reception following the funeral for friends and family, the location of which will be announced at the funeral.
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