Somewhat unusual for a Briton to be posting an obituary for an all-American woman, but I guess I've just picked up on it first.
I'm saddened to read this evening of the death of Annie Glenn, aged 100, who died today from complications with CV-19.
Annie Glenn (nee Castor) was the wife of American Astronaut John Glenn, one of the original Mercury astronauts and who in 1962 became the first American to orbit the earth.
She was born in February 1920. The Castors were family friends of the Glenns and the children first met as toddlers. They both said that they could never remember a time when they did not know each other. They married in 1943.
Apart from being the wife of a famous astronaut, she was distinctive in her own way because she suffered from dysfluency (stuttering) all her life. Her stutter was a chronic condition although in her relationship with her husband it was never a problem between them. She used her celebrity status during the space race of the 1960s to bring the plight of those who suffered from communicative disabilities to the attention of the American people.
She became involved in a number of charitable organisations including several speech and hearing associations and child abuse charities. In Columbus Ohio where the Glenns were both born, 17th Avenue was renamed "Annie and John Glenn Avenue." President Obama personally endorsed her "Annie Glenn Annual Leadership Award", bestowed annually to a person that has displayed innovative and inspirational work in speech / language pathology.
She was a wonderful humanitarian, a campaigner and was still working on behalf of those who suffer from dysfluency until being struck down by COVID-19. The world needs people like Annie Glenn and above and beyond any celebrity it is people like her, the work they do and the inspiration they provide, who will be truly missed.
When her husband, John, died in December 2016 they had been married for 73 years.
Rest in peace, Annie. 17 February 1920 - 19 May 2020