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Glenda Loraine McCrary passed away in the early morning hours of April 20, 2019.
Born in the summer of 1937 in Seattle to Earl and Fanny Haney, Glenda spent her childhood in Oklahoma City and high school years in Sedalia, MO where she graduated from Smith-Cotton High School in 1955. She attended CMSU in Warrensburg (now UCM) and spent a few years as a single working gal in KC until her marriage to Bill McCrary in 1958. They settled in Kansas City and raised their two children, Melinda and Michael.
Once Mike and Mindy were firmly ensconced in elementary school, Glenda hit the books again, earning both her bachelors and masters in English Literature from UMKC where she went on to teach Freshman English and English composition for many years, as well as several elective classes including her favorite, Changing Roles, which focused on womens themes and writing. She also taught composition and creative writing at the Kansas City Art Institute in their fledgling liberal arts program. Glenda and Bill divorced in 1981 and remained close friends until his death in 2012.
For 17 years, she was the Administrative Director ("the axis around which everything got done") for New Letters Literary Magazine and New Letters on the Air and coordinated their first Literary Awards competition in 1986. Her essay, "Behind the Scenes of a Literary Contest" was published in Poets & Writers Magazine in 1992 and New Letters in 2015. She was a popular and creative educator and administrator who relished sharing her love for language, literature and great stories.
Our good witch was a bright light, full of irreverent laughter and opinions, with a quick wit, fierce intelligence, colorful spirit, and a gift for joy. Her love was passionate, palpable, supportive and unconditional. She was a voracious reader and a talented writer. GG adored her grandsons and treasured babysitting, watching them play music and sports and trips to the movies. She enjoyed traveling and hosting lively dinner parties with her husband, Jim, watching films and theatre, and spending quality time with friends and family. In retirement, she and Jim savored the warmth of winter in Oracle, AZ and friends there. She was a devoted optimist and it was contagious. She lived her life.
She was predeceased by her parents as well as her long-time love and treasured husband, James McKinley. Her warm heart and sweet self will be deeply missed by her daughter, Melinda, son, Michael, his wife Laura and their boys, Daniel and Ian, and many dear friends, including childhood besties Marilyn Hall and Lucy Brewer as well as new guy, Mark Robbins. She is also survived by a brother, Daniel.
A celebration of Glendas life is being planned for summertime. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in her memory to New Letters literary magazine, University of Missouri-Kansas City, through the magazines webpage www.newletters.org/donations or c/o the editor, New Letters, 5101 Rockhill Road, UMKC, Kansas City, Mo. 64110.
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