By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Dec. 12, 2016: As the nation gets ready to bid adieu to the former astronaut and U.S. senator who became the first American to orbit the earth, a Caribbean immigrant is remembering fondly the day he met fellow Marine John Herschel Glenn Jr.
Kurt Shade, a Trinidad & Tobago-born lecturer at Ohio State University and sprint track coach at Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, told the New York Daily News Caribbeat that he first met the late senator 2012 on the university campus, outside the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.
Glenn had an office in the building and also spent time promoting the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University, which also houses an archive of his private papers and photographs.
“It was just happenstance. I saw him, and Marine to Marine, you say, ‘Semper fi’ (short for semper fidelis, the Marine motto, which is Latin for “always faithful”),” Caribbeat quoted Shade as saying. “When I did that, he stopped and we just talked,” Shade said.
Glenn sent Shade an autographed copy of the photo taken that day.
“He signed it and wrote Semper fi on the photograph,” Shade told the Daily News.
Shade also says he’d see Glenn about once month and had short talks with him after their initial meeting.
Glenn died December 8, 2016, at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. No cause of death has yet been disclosed. Glenn will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. All other funeral activities will take place in Ohio.
Glenn was a fighter pilot in two wars, and as a test pilot, he set a transcontinental speed record. He later served 24 years in the Senate from Ohio. A rare setback was a failed 1984 run for the Democratic presidential nomination.His long political career enabled him to return to space in the shuttle Discovery in 1998, a cosmic victory lap that he relished and turned into a teachable moment about growing old. He holds the record for the oldest person in space.
He is survived by his wife Anna Margaret Castor, who he wed in 1943 and their two children, Carolyn and John David.