Glenn B. Amundsen
Tuesday, December 24, 1935
Date of Death:
Saturday, February 15, 2014
78 years old
Glenn B. Amundsen
A Memorial Mass for Glenn Amundsen will be at 11:00AM Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church with the Rev. Mark McNea officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass.
Glenn B. Amundsen, a well-respected local track coach and lifelong Rochester resident died at the age of 78 on February 15, 2014. He will be fondly remembered and much missed.
Glenn was born in Rochester on December 24, 1935, to Norma M. Evans Amundsen and Glenn O. Amundsen. He graduated from Rochester High School 1953. He attended RCC and Hamline University in St Paul, MN before joining the US Air Force and serving in Japan with the 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. While overseas, he competed on the Air Force track and field and football traveling teams, winning both Pacific and US Air Force titles. Returning stateside he took a job at the City of Rochester in their Engineering Office where he worked until his retirement in 1994. He married Doris M Kochenderfer on July 27, 1963 at St Pius church in Rochester.
Glenn enjoyed many hobbies throughout his life–pursuing each of them with his special combination of energy and devotion. As a young man he was active in the fledgling Rochester Civic Theatre and garnered praise for his portrayal of Happy Loman in Death of a Salesman and as Luther Billis, the great comic role, in South Pacific. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Rochester Track Club and the All-Comers Track Meets.
After his retirement, he spent much of his time painting, drawing, woodworking and woodcarving, often with the family’s Golden Retrievers at his side. Recently, he devoted several hours each day to designing and constructing intricate wooden boats and airplanes. Always an early adapter, Glenn loved new technology and would use it in both his artwork and his coaching.
His greatest passion, though, was reserved for his work with youth sports; coaching youth football and basketball, as well as shot putters and discus throwers. For many years he volunteered to coach high school track athletes from across southeastern Minnesota; he’d assist any athlete who had the drive and desire to improve their throwing technique. His innovative and motivational coaching style led to great success for his athletes. Under his thoughtful tutelage, athletes went on to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs as well as to successful college track and field careers at Purdue and Oregon among others. Over the years he coached 12 athletes to 16 Minnesota State Track and Field championships.
His decade at Stewartville High School was, perhaps, the highlight of his coaching career. The Glenn Amundsen Invitational Track Meet, held in Stewartville each year, is named in his honor. Among his great joys was seeing athletes that he’d coached become coaches for the next generation.
Glenn is survived by Doris, his wife of 50 years; his daughter, Michele Lee of Danbury, Connecticut; and his elder sister, Margit.
Memorials are suggested to the family.
Macken Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. On-line condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com.
The family of Glenn B. Amundsen has received the following condolences.
Dear Amundsen Family,
I have so many great memories of Glenn. I was not a star shot and discus thrower by any means, but he made every one of us who competed under his tutelage so much better than we would have been without him. He was such a student of the field events, and he gave every one of us the feeling he cared for us very deeply and would do whatever he could to help us reach our potential. He always saw and pointed out the small improvements in technique and had the amazing knowledge to always see the ways we could improve. I cherish the memories of pushing him up small hills around Soldier's Field in the pickup truck to work on leg strength, needing to stop for air or to stop laughing at a comment he made.
During my time working at Assisi Heights my terrific boss Bill Canfield supported all of us going out to help those whose homes were affected by the flood, and I remember going through the basement of the Amundsen home trying to salvage a few things and then to clean up that terrible muck. Glenn's sense of humor never faltered even during that trying time.
My thoughts and prayers are with you during your time of loss. I am sure your great memories are helping you during this time, and know there are many, many like me who were profoundly impacted by Glenn and will always be thankful for the gift of his presence in our lives.
I am so sorry to hear of Glenn's passing. Doris and Michele you have my sincere sympathy for your loss of the most special guy in the world. I know how much Glenn meant to me and so many others! I know he means much much more to you and I realize that he filled your hearts with love and so much more. Thank you for sharing Glenn with so many of us. Glenn made the world a better place for everyone who he knew.
I consider my association with Glenn among the best things ever to happen to me as a person and as a coach. There is no way I could ever repay Glenn for what he has taught me. I will do my best to pass on what Glenn taught to me to the generations that follow.
Glenn was the man who taught me that I could walk up to anyone including Olympic champions and introduce myself and ask questions. He explained that they would welcome my questions and share my love of sport and the quest for knowledge. That one simple lesson has helped me grow beyond my dreams as a person and as a coach.
His warm smile and gentle laugh always brought joy to my heart. When I would over hear Glenn talk and tell someone I was his good friend I knew that he had paid me the highest complement in the world. For me there was no greater honor than being Glenn's friend.
There is an old expression, "Kids don't care how much you know till they know how much you care". Glenn knew a ton but cared even more. I have a great picture of coach G surrounded by his athletes at the indoor meet in LaCrosse. Those kids could have been hanging out with their buddies elsewhere but they simply enjoyed the man's company. Yes he cared and yes he knew his stuff. But, he also knew how to get kids to believe they could be great. A kid that believes in himself/herself, that's a powerful thing and Glenn was a master.
Michele, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Mom today. Love, Brigid
Doris and Michele,
Sorry to hear of Glenn's passing and hope you're holding up well in this difficult time.
I feel privileged to have known Glenn and lucky to have had him around to mentor me through my coaching career at Mayo HS. Given the amount of knowledge that he had of throwing he could have easily walked in most places and just said "this is how it's done", but rather took the time to understand both coaches and athletes and would be more likely to say, "What do you think about......?" The passion, humility and compassion that he showed go far beyond track and field. He was truly a remarkable, patient and kind man and I am a better person for having known him.
Michele, I will be thinking of you and family today as you remember your dear father and celebrate his exceptional life.
Please know that your friends in Danbury are sending thoughts and prayers to MN.
A great role model, a great, gentle guy. We were so lucky to have Glenn working with us Lourdes High tracksters. Thanks again, old friend! And God bless you, your family, and your friends. Prayers are en route from Iowa!
Doris, my thoughts are with you during this challenging time for you. I didn't know Glenn but appreciated reading his obituary, I should have realized you would have married such a special person to share your life with! I am sure you have many memories to reflect on and enjoy.
Dear Amundsen Family
Please know that I thought the world of Glenn. I am very sorry for your loss. The world lost one of the true good guys with Glenn's passing. I started teaching in Stewartville in 2001 and remember asking someone who the older gentleman coaching the throwers in the jeep was. I was told it was Glenn Amundsen, and that he had forgotten more about shot put and discus than I would ever know. The next year I was coaching along side Glenn, trying to absorb everything I could from him. He taught me almost everything I know about shot put and especially discus. I have tried to coach with as much enthusiasm as he did and to this day, still use his words and drills in practice. While Glenn may be gone, his legacy will live on with every kid that picks up a shot or a disc in my program, and I am sure many others. He helped so many good kids become great and on top of that, he was a great man. When I had my 1st state champion discus thrower, he engraved the thrower in a block of wood for me. That block of wood still hangs in my home office today. Glenn was a presence in the throwing circles for many years before me. Over his lifetime, he touched the lives of many athletes. His memory will live with them for a long time, as well as his spirit. He will be greatly missed.
May God Bless Glenn as he is laid to rest, and may Glenn find the circles in heaven clean, the sectors straight, the grass green, and the gravel smooth.
Dear Doris and Michele,
I am finding it difficult to write this message.... I am sending sincere condolences for the loss of your husband and father.
To put in words what Glenn meant to me is hard. I came to Glenn as a shy discus thrower from St. Charles. (Remember the flying watermelon episode in your kitchen?? I could have DIED with embarrassment but we all had a good laugh and somehow bonded with the silliness of it all). Glenn gladly took me in and proceeded to coach me in ways that pushed me to be the best that I could be. I went on to become a Minnesota state discuss champion, two-time NCAA All American (University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse and California State University- Stanislaus) as well as represented the US on a team that competed against the Chinese national team. In other words he took me around the world.
Glenn believed in me and therefore I believed in myself. He, by far, was the biggest influence in my life. At the time you don't realize the lifelong implications of leaving the team track practice in St. Charles to drive to Rochester to be coached by someone years ahead of his time. You don't realize the effort and time he gladly volunteered so you could excel and keep improving. I can't count the hours of watching film, discussing technique and practicing drills that we spent together.
Throwing the discus eventually landed me in California (where I remain today). My accomplishments in Track and Field are largely the product of Glenn's dedicated coaching and mentoring. I will forever be grateful.
Thanks Glenn! And thanks Doris for always answering that knock on the door to let the multitude of eager throwers in.
Karen Koenig, Class of 1984, St. Charles High School
I am so sorry to hear of Glenn's passing. He was a great coach and even a better person. I met Glenn 30 some years ago when he was coaching Chris Waltman of Elgin in the throws. Chris went on to be a stellar thrower for the University of Oregon. I coached at Plainview for 31 years and we competed against each other throughout the years. He was always available to help out my athletes whenever I asked. He was an outstanding technician, and he had such great rapport with his athletes. It was such an honor to even know Glenn. He made me a much better coach and a better teacher.
Glenn will be missed by many.
So sorry to read about the loss of a wonderful giving man Glenn Amundsen. He helped so many student athletes in southern Minnesota achieve greatness with the shot and discus over the years. He put in countless hours helping young throwers to improve their throws. He invented a tool called the spinner which helped many
throwers improve. He was friends with Mac Wilkins Olympic Gold Medal winner and brought Mac to the MSHSL coaches clinic. When he introduced me to Mac Wilkins, Glenn was wearing his Olympic Gold Medal.
What a loss for the shot and discus community and the family of Glenn Amundsen.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Doris and Michele..
I am extremely sad to hear of Glen's passing. Glen, you were a tremendous human being! You touched so many lives. I remember when I first met you at an all comers track meet in the summer of 1973 at Soldiers Field. In one hour you helped me improve 2 feet on my PB in the shot put! The years that I spent coaching with you in Stewartville I will cherish forever! I will never forget the smile on your face as you watched TJ, Tommy, John, Nichole, and Ricky stand on the podium!
God bless you and your family
Tom L Lofgren
Kevin and I are thinking about you at this time of loss. We offer you our deepest sympathy. We are holding you close to our hearts.
Sue and Kevin
Dear Doris and Michele,
I am so sorry for your loss. You have all been a wonderful part of my life while growing up, as friends and teachers. I remember Glenn coaching Michele and me in basketball at St. Francis and helping me throw discus at Lourdes. He was always so positive and very encouraging. I hope your memories will give you comfort in the days ahead.
Doris and family,
I am so sorry to hear of Glenn's passing. Doris, we all appreciate your good work for the special students in the Rochester Public Schools. Thanks too for all of your work to make the gardens of Rochester more beautiful. God Bless you and your family, Scott
Doris and Michele,
The neighborhood won't be the same without Glenn. He always kept an eye on us. Sending my deepest sympathy. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
Margit: I was so sorry to read about your brother's passing. You have my prayers and condolences. God bless you. Bill Barnes
Doris, my deepest sympathies to you and your family.
Dear Doris and Michele, Colin and I are so sorry for your loss.....Rest in Peace Glenn....
Your wonderful memories has a husband and as a father, will always be with you, especially at this very hard time of grieving.....Glenn dearly loved coaching shot and discus. He continued to express his passion through carving, drawings, poetry and of course his illustrations in many publications for the shot and discus. Our prayer is for comfort given to you both by the many friends and family who will honor his life.
My deepest condolences on the passing of Glenn. I wish I could describe in words what a great influence he was on my life but I am afraid that wouldn't be enough. He was such a special human being and we were all better for having the opportunity to be around him. He made me a better man and I will miss him so very much.
Rest in Peace G!
My sincere sympathy to you and your family at the loss of your husband. My prayers are with you at this time.
It was always a treat to have Glenn come and work with our students at Mayo High School. His passion for the sport of T&F, working with students, and life inspired so many. He made the world a better place.
So sorry to hear of your loss. Peace be yours
Doris and Michelle - we are thinking of y'all and our whole family has y'all in their prayers. Mr Glenn answered the door the first time I dropped by and I told him "You have the most beautiful garden I've ever seen!" He said it is my wife's, I'll have her call you. :) That was the start of one of my most treasured friendships. I know you both were his strength, comfort and joy and I hope that gives y'all peace at this time.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time. I don't even know where to start when it comes to thinking about the unbelievable impact that Glenn had on my life. I remember the first time I met him I had just made the choice to not play baseball and was walking by the track one day. Glenn called out after me and insisted that I grab this big steel ball and throw it as far as I could. I really had no idea what I was doing but I tossed it as best I could. The rest, you could say, is history. He taught me so many things about how to give everything you do your best effort and be the best person possible.
The main reason why I coach today was because of the impact that Glenn had on my life. If I can inspire at least one individual the way that Glenn inspired me I feel like it was well worth it. He was a phenomenal coach, a better man, and without a doubt one of the most influential individuals in my life. Rest in Peace G!!
Doris and Michelle,
Glenn was such a great motivator to me. He helped me turm my dreams and goals into reality. The six springs that I was able to spend with him will never be forgotten. I only wish that I was able to keep in closer touch with him throughout the year. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Rest in Peace Big G!
Dear Doris & Michelle,
Glen was the BEST! All of us who knew him are better people for sharing life with Glenn - myself certainly included! Those 3 years coaching youth football together were some of the best times in my life thanks to him. I remember Glenn being on the sidelines loudly, enthusiastically encouraging kids to get back in there and try again (even though we only had won 1 game that year). Glenn genuinely cared about people. It wasn't just fluff or a pretend interest at all with anyone. He cared, and people knew it.
I regret that I didn't call last week when I was thinking of him. I may live here in Phoenix, AZ, but he was always near and dear to me in my heart. He will live on through all of us..........
May God's Peace be with you and your family.
Glenn was the best coach I have ever had. He was so encouraging, knowledgeable, inspirational and always happy. He was a major role model to me and so many others at Stewartville High School. My condolences to his family! Rest in Peace G!
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I knew Glenn when we were young kids. I remember a red-headed boy who liked to have fun. It was a great time to grow up. I knew him less well as we grew and was delighted to read about his many accomplishments.
I got a chance to talk to Glenn for a minute at our last reunion and was glad that I had. We had some pleasant memories to share.
My condolences to your family.
Doris.....my father, Ray Sibley, worked with Glenn for many years and considered him one of the finest gentlemen he knew. He always spoke so highly of him. The entire Sibley family sends our sincere thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
Glenn was an exceptional and talented person who certainly made the world a better place. He was our friend from Edison school here in Rochester. Goodness and Blessings to you and your family, Doris, colette
Michele and Doris.
Sending out our condolences on Glenn's passing. May his memory and zest for life continue to inspire you and be your beacon in the days ahead.
Production Crew, Misha and Flyboy's Comedy and Revue Show
Doris and Michele,
My sympathies for your loss. You both must know how special your family was to me during my childhood. I have only warm thoughts and memories of time in your home and know that it was always a place of love. I will think of you and pray for you often.
May the angels welcome him to paradise.