Thursday, March 1, 2012

Glen W. Hall: Leader of Ohio's Deaf Community

Glen W. Hall passed on through this life on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at aged ninety-four. However, to his community, the Ohio Association for the Deaf and Portsmouth, Ohio, it is the passage of their leader.

I was honored to open the celebration at Moreland Funeral Home in Westerville by playing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Then I sat and watched the story of a life unfold as his family and friends, all of them using the deaf’s sign language, told of Glen’s successes.

Ben Hall, Glen’s son, started it by telling humorous stories of his dad growing up during two World Wars, his life as a boxer, a multisport athlete from the 1930s, a whitewater rafter in his eighties, a mechanic, a pressman for a newspaper in Sandusky, a union pressman who fought the discrimination of being deaf in his hometown of Portsmouth. And all along the way, Glen used his strength to help deaf folks find interpreters and find employment.

Ryan Hall told of traveling to California with his grandfather in 2011 to find a long lost brother and how the three men bonded. Others came forward to tell stories of how Glen was the leader in the Columbus Colony for the Deaf, how he was a bowler, how he helped them find a job, how he care so much about the deaf community of Portsmouth that he brought people together.

The sign language of others told how Glen Hall was the organizer and life-member of the Ohio Association of the Deaf and how he attended meetings nationwide for the benefit of his people. He packed life into ninety-four years and he is the last of the orginals.

But Glen Hall’s legacy lives in his sons, his grandson and those who celebrated his passing through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He made an impact that you didn’t have to hear.

Arnett Howard

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