15 Aug

Richard B. McGlinn 1932 – 2020

Richard B. (“Dick”) McGlinn, 88, passed away at his home in Plymouth, Michigan on August 8th 2020. 

He was born on April 20, 1932 in Leavenworth, Kansas as the third-born son of Louise (O’Leary) and Edward McGlinn. He grew up in Leavenworth and married his high school sweetheart, Elaine Kubicki. They were married for 66 years and had eight children, 16 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

His early childhood coincided with the days of the Great Depression. Despite this, he enjoyed a boyhood of great freedom, growing up along the banks of the Missouri river, where he swam and spent time with his family and friends. He was a voracious reader, who was often seen in the Leavenworth library, where he proceeded to read every book on loan to children under the age of eighteen. His lifelong commitment to equal rights and democracy manifested itself early, when, as a youngster, he defiantly crossed segregation barriers to swim and play ball with his racially diverse friends.

As a youth, he proved to be an exceptionally gifted and graceful runner, who, in his senior year at Immaculata High School, tied the Kansas prep record for the 100-yard dash of 9.8 seconds at the K.U. Interscholastic meet. In the same year he ran the 220-yard dash in an astonishing 21.3 seconds during the Kansas State track finals. He was also an inspired basketball and football player, celebrated by fans and feared by opponents for running end-around plays without ever being touched due to his agility and lightning speed.  After graduating from Immaculata High School in 1951, he was one of the most sought-after athletes when he started his studies at the University of Kansas where he received a double-header scholarship (Outland Club, NROTC). In 1953, the K.U. Sprint Medley team, of which he was a member, set a new world record at the Texas Relays of 3:21:8, for which he was inducted into the University of Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. He attended Kansas University until he joined the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, thereafter, returning with his wife and first-born son to Leavenworth.

He taught himself finance and accounting, from which he formed his very successful career.  In February 1957, he joined Bendix in Detroit, Michigan, following his brother, Ed, there.  In 1962, he graduated from the University of Detroit and was awarded a BPhil having majored in History with a minor in Philosophy. He worked at Bendix for 28 years, until his retirement in February 1985 as a finance executive.  A few days later, he joined Taubman company, and retired as SVP, Treasurer in January 1998.

Throughout his life, he remained a person of considerable intellectual vivacity, always open to the pursuit of knowledge and with a particular interest in history. Often, he read several books at a time and was deeply engaged with current affairs and history in the making. His commitment to justice and belief in human rights translated into engagement with the Democratic party in the 60s and 70s in support of Civil Rights amendments and against the Vietnam War. From early in his career onwards, he advocated for and hired women and racial minorities. In 2007, he marched in Washington to protest against the US-led invasion of Iraq. Throughout the last two decades, he hosted a blog,, his platform for safeguarding our Democracy through the dissemination of information and the preservation of the right to dissent.

His second home was on the “holy waters” of the Au Sable River where he found his greatest peace with a fly rod in hand and a handtied fly. Fly-fishing had long been in his family and, for him, it was a way of communing with nature, a grounding experience that he would pass on to all his children and grandchildren.

He loved his large family and bringing the members together.  He especially loved holidays with his large family, and his children remember overflowing gifts beneath the Christmas tree. He and Elaine hosted unforgettable Thanksgivings and summer family reunions which he called ‘The Gathering.’ His favorite toast, “To Family!”.

Dick is survived by his wife, Elaine, 8 children (Stephen, Paula, Mark, Richard, Maureen, David, Daniel and Eileen), 16 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and his brothers (Bill and Bob).  He was preceded in death by his brother Ed and sister Mary (Datwyler).

In celebration of the life of Richard B. McGlinn, a man of his own kind, a true liberal and freethinker, autodidact, poet, celebrator of friendship and of humanity, gentle guardian and great provider of family, stalwart responder to those in need and peace activist, we welcome your support of the following charities: Amnesty International and Southern Poverty Law Center

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George Adler

I hadn’t known the scope of Richard’s life until reading this obituary. It is a story of a full life well lived, a life to be celebrated. I had known Richard primarily as Mark, Maureen, and Rich’s dad. Now I know why, when Rich and I were in high school in the early 1970s, Rich chose the Au Sable to take us fishing, canoeing, and camping, which we did many times. That river and those trips still hold a very fond place in my memory. May the grief felt now at Richard’s passing be transformed by love and memories into a higher understanding that will create space for joy in your heart. My wife Catherine and I send our heart-felt condolences from North Carolina to the entire McGlinn family.

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